More protests in Qena against new governor Michael

Ahram Online, Saturday 16 Apr 2011

Those opposing the appointment of Emad Shehata Michael to be Qena's new governor vow to keep up the pressure until he leaves

For the second day running, a protest march was staged by hundreds in Qena against newly-appointed governor General Emad Shehata Michael.

The protests had first broken out on Friday shortly after General Michael, who used to be in the police forces and is the second Copt to hold the post, was introduced as the new Qena governor.

The protesters, most of them reportedly from Salafist movements or the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Qena members of the January 25 Youth Coalition, spent the night in front of the local governing headquarters chanting against Michael.

A new protest march was staged Saturday morning.

Protesters say the new governor is similar to deposed president Hosni Mubarak, referring to the fact that he “belongs to the police forces”. The demonstrators also likened Michael to former Qena Governor Magdy Ayoub, under whom sectarian strife became pervasive in the Upper Egypt city.

One of the protesters’ banners read: “Field Marshal, Field Marshal (Mohamed Tantawi), we don’t want Michael!” Residents in nearby villages also voiced dissatisfaction over the appointment of the new Qena governor.

Protesters say they will keep staging demonstrations “until the Egyptian authorities backtrack on their decision to install Michael." 

Michael was among 18 new governors appointed by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf a couple of days ago.

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