Egyptian Cabinet Resigns as Violent Protests Show No Sign of Halting

Death Toll at 33, 1,700 Injured Since Saturday

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  • Egypt Protests
    (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
    Protesters flee from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes at Tahrir Square in Cairo November 21, 2011. Cairo police fought protesters demanding an end to army rule for a third day on Monday and morgue officials said the death toll had risen to 33, with many victims shot in the worst violence since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
By Ivana Kvesic, Christian Post Reporter
November 21, 2011|2:09 pm

As violence in Egypt continued for the third consecutive day and protesters plan a “million man” march in Cairo, Egyptian cabinet members have announced their resignation to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The resignation comes as protests against the military leadership have led to a death toll of 33 with at least 1,700 people having been wounded in the violence that broke out on Saturday following a massive anti-military protes that was reminiscent of February’s Arab Spring protests that ousted former ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Violence between protesters and security forces broke out at Tahrir Square in Cairo and was also witnessed in the cities of Alexandria and Suez.

Protesters have vowed to hold a "million man" march on Tuesday in Cairo, a sign that violence between security forces and protesters could likely get worse.

Demonstrations were sparked by a document issued by Egypt's military leadership that sought to set out ground rules for the drafting of a new Egyptian Constitution.

Many of the provisions in the document call for the respect of individual liberties and minority rights. However, one provision suggests that the military remain the guardian of “constitutional legitimacy,” essentially shielding the military from public oversight even after a civilian government is democratically elected.

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Parliamentary elections are scheduled for Nov. 28, however, many have expressed the concern that Egypt’s military will not easily relinquish power and also fear that members from Mubarak’s party will gain significant parliamentary power, as the military has not banned them from running in elections.

Activists fear that the military maintains loyalty to the Mubarak regime and – by not banning members from the former regime from running in elections – are showing their hesitancy towards the dismantling of the former system.

Protesters are calling for an immediate transition to civilian rule, but the military leadership has said it will not relinquish power until presidential elections, which they plan to hold in late 2012 or early 2013.

Protesters have expressed disillusion with the current rule arguing that Egypt is not headed in the direction people who risked their lives in protest last spring had hoped for.

Mosa’ab Elshamy, a protestor in Tahrir Square told CNN, “people feel that they have been cheated and that they have moved from an autocracy to a military dictatorship. So they are back to the square – back to square one – to ask for their rights once again.”

 

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