- (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)
The White House released a statement Friday urging Egypt to continue with its upcoming parliamentary elections as planned, and transfer power to a civilian government.
"Most importantly, we believe that the full transfer of power to a civilian government must take place in a just and inclusive manner that responds to the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people, as soon as possible," the statement read.
Protesters stormed the streets of major cities since Saturday of last week, urging the hasty removal of the military regime from governmental power.
The military regime held a press conference in Cairo on Thursday, apologizing for the lives lost during the protests and promising elections for Monday, Nov. 28.
"We will not relinquish power because a slogan-chanting crowd said so. … Being in power is not a blessing. It is a curse. It’s a very heavy responsibility," Maj. Gen. Mokhtar El Mulla told the crowd.
The apology, coupled with the appointment of Kamal el-Ganzouri as prime minister of the "national salvation army," proves too little too late for restless Egyptians yearning for change after their Arab Spring uprisings.
Civilians expressed particular rage at the appointment of el-Ganzouri, who served as prime minister under President Hosni Mubarak from 1996-1999.
Many civilians argue that the military government is a mere continuation of the oppressive rule inflicted by previous President Mubarak. Mubarak was ousted from power after the Jan. 25 revolution, and Egyptians have awaited a democratic government ever since.
As stated by El Mulla, parliamentary elections are scheduled to begin Monday. In its statement, the White House pressed for "elections proceeding expeditiously, and all necessary measures taken to ensure security and prevent intimidation."
Although many fear protests will sabotage the election process, Gen. Mulla told those gathered in Cairo Thursday: “We will not delay elections. That is the final word.”