Egypt Protests Won't Halt Promised Elections

Nov 22, 2011, 12:25 by R.E. Christian

The first round of post-revolution elections in Egypt will take place as planned and presidential elections could follow as early as June, the government said.

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, leader of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said the military regime was "completely ready" to transfer power to civilian leadership through "a popular referendum," al-Arabiya reported.

Thousands of protesters gathered at Cairo's Tahrir Square, home to the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak from power in February. Dozens were killed in skirmishes with police as protesters called for an end to military rule in the country.

Tantawi said SCAF doesn't want to lead the country and elections would go ahead as planned next Monday.

The government, through its official MENA news agency, said presidential elections could take place as early as June, 10 months later than originally planned.

Tantawi said Tuesday that he accepted the resignation of Cabinet officials, who stepped aside en masse in response to renewed protests.

Abdualrahma al-Zaqhimy, described by al-Arabiya as a member of the youth revolution, said SCAF's concessions came too late. Demonstrators would continue occupying Cairo's central square, he said, until military rule over Egypt ends.

Al-Jazeera adds that as Tantawi finished his speech, demonstrators in Tahrir Square chanted "erhal," which is Arabis for "leave."

SCAF took control after Mubarak was ousted.

Source: UPI