Egypt's Military Will Pass Power to an Elected President Early

 Amid shocking violence and bloodshed as the Egyptian military battled protesters, Egypt's Military leaders announced that power will be handed over to an elected president by July 2012, one year earlier than was previously expected. 

From the Washington Post:

The pledge to hand over power to a civilian leadership was first announced by presidential hopeful Mohammed Salim al-Awaa after a meeting with the ruling generals. The promise marked the biggest concession by the military leadership since anti-government protests began last weekend, mushrooming into a national revolt.

Although the military’s timetable for ceding power had been vague, it had appeared increasingly likely until now that the generals would remain in power until sometime in 2013.

The National explains military leader Hussein Tantawi's address to Egypt:

Mr Tantawi later told the nation in a televised address that the armed forces are prepared to hold a referendum on immediately transferring power to a civilian authority if people demand it.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces "does not aspire to hold power and is fully willing to transfer responsibility immediately should the people wish it, through a popular referendum if necessary", Mr Tantawi said.

He said the council had accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's cabinet but had "tasked it to carry on working until a new government is formed ... to handle the transition in cooperation with the Supreme Council".

Tantawi also defended the military's actions in the recent, brutal weeks. According to the Washington Post, he accused protesters of "insulting" the military and denied ever killing a single Egyptian. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at November 22, 2011, 10:04am

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