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SCAF member takes swipe at Tahrir

A member in Egypt’s ruling military says Tahrir Square does not represent most Egyptians and risks becoming 'another dictatorship'

Hatem Maher, Sunday 4 Dec 2011
Tahrir square
Protesters pray during a march in Tahrir Square in Cairo (Reuters)
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A member in Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) has taken a swipe at protests in Tahrir Square, saying Tahrir does not represent the bulk of Egyptians.

Determined protesters in the epicentre of January’s revolution have demanded that SCAF immediately hands over power to a civilian government, but Egypt’s interim rulers have so far defied their calls.

SCAF also failed to appease Tahrir occupants after appointing Kamal El-Ganzouri, a premier under ousted president Hosni Mubarak from 1996 to 1999, as the new prime minister.

“I doubt that Tahrir really represents the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” SCAF member Mamdouh Abdel-Hak said in an interview with Mehwar TV channel.

“The Egyptians have succeeded in dismantling dictatorship following the departure of Hosni Mubarak, so I don’t think they will let in another dictatorship. They will not allow anyone to control their opinions.

“Egypt is not only Tahrir; we are managing a country of 88 million people. Tahrir only represents the people in the square,” he added.

Thousands of SCAF supporters have gathered in Abbasiya district in Cairo for the past two Fridays, hitting out at Tahrir and giving the military junta a vote of confidence following deadly clashes between protesters and police that left more than 40 dead last month.

The number of Tahrir protesters who have camped in the square since 18 November has notably declined lately, following the beginning of Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections.

But those who remain there are holding firm, saying they will not leave until SCAF appoints a new government with full authority to lead the country until presidential elections scheduled for June 2012.

“Most of our initial nominations for the government were turned down by the political forces, so we implemented a sort of dictatorship by naming El-Ganzouri as the new prime minister, because we know well who is El-Ganzouri,” Abdel-Hak added.

“The political forces accepted El-Ganzouri’s appointment but Tahrir didn’t. We are acting in the best interests of all the Egyptian people, not certain factions.

“El-Ganzouri, who has full authority, should be given the chance to achieve our aims.”

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