Nov 22, 2011

News Alert: Battered by Protests, Egypt's Military Promises to Speed Transition to Civilian Rule

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 -- 12:11 PM EST

Battered by Protests, Egypt's Military Promises to Speed Transition to Civilian Rule

The ruling military council in Egypt agreed on Tuesday to name a new civilian cabinet, led by a "technocrat" prime minister rather than a politician, and to speed up the transition to civilian rule, with a new constitution and a presidential election no later than June 2012, rather than on an open-ended timetable stretching into 2013 or later.

The agreement came after the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces met with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in a session that was boycotted by most other political parties. Under the agreement, the first round of elections for a national assembly is to go ahead as scheduled on Monday, a major goal of the brotherhood, which stands to win a large share of the seats.

The deal may prove popular among the public, where concern for a return to stability runs high. But it is unlikely to satisfy the huge crowds of protestors who have gathered in Tahrir Square for days, demanding that the military council immediately surrender more of its power to a new civilian government. It leaves the civilian government reporting to the military — effectively a continuation of what amounts to martial law in civilian clothes — until June.

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