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Jul 25, 2011

When the Protesters’ Demands are not Met

Six months have passed since the fall of the Mubarak regime and not much has been done to prosecute those who have been accused of crimes and corruption. The protestors in Tahrir Square have disclosed that July 8th is the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution. Millions of Egyptians are disappointed with Isam Sharaf, the prime minister, and General Mohammd Tantawi, the head of the Higher Egyptian Military Council and called for their resignations. Thousands of protestors vowed to stay in Tahrir Square until their demands are met. They called to expedite the trial of Hosni Mubarak and all of the high government officials, especially those who were directly connected with the killings of more than 850 young Egyptians. They also insisted on replacing the minister of interior and the minister of justice and cleansing the judicial system in order for justice to be attained. Furthermore, the protestors have demanded that the trial of the criminals should be open to the public to observe how justice is proceeding. There are other demands made by the protestors, such as the released of political prisoners, the cancellation of military courts and the resignations of all cabinet ministers who were connected with the previous regime.

The July 8th continuous protest began to bring some positive results by July 22nd. It was announced that the prime minister was able to add 13 out of 27 new cabinet members. There were some candidates proposed by Sharaf, but the Higher Military Council turned them down. The minister of justice and the minster of interior were kept. Both were target of removal by the protestors. There are other ministers from the Mubarak regime who were also kept, such as Minister of Environment Majid George and others. The irony is that Mr. George should have been dismissed a long time ago, because he failed to clean the piles of garbage from Cairo, which is a sign of disgrace for the society at large. The Nile River, which is the main source of fresh water for Egypt, is highly polluted. Why the Higher Military Council insists on keeping him, as well as others, in the cabinet is unclear. The prime minister should have resigned in protest of the decision made by General Tantawi. These points, among others, led the young people and other political groups to reject the prime minister’s appeal. They are continuing their protest in Tahrir Square and other Egyptian cities, repeating their demands that have not been met.

It seems that the Egyptian Higher Military Council has their own strategy to delay the prosecution of Hosni Mubarak and other high ex-government officials and ministers for crimes they have committed and the corruption that took place during the past 30 years. After all, the members of the military council, including General Tantawi, were part of the Mubarak regime for more than two decades.

The speculation behind the delay of prosecution of some high ex-governmental officials is that they have information of corruption liable to tarnish some members of the Higher Military council. Such speculation began to create conflicts and accusations between the military leadership and some of the political movements, such as the 6th of April. Even some foreign press like the NYT (July 24, 2011) speculated that the previous president, Hosni Mubarak, would not be tried. Nevertheless, Hosni Mubarak’s trial is set to take place August 2, 2011. What will happen then will shed more light on this problem.

I also suspect some of the members of the previous regime, who are still on the loose, in addition to some of the members of the previous government parties and business leaders, who benefitted a great deal during the past 30 years, are playing a role in creating conflicts between the army and the forces of the revolutions. Promising news was released July 23, 2011, that the ex minister of interior’s trial would be held July 25.

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