Monday, November 21, 2011

Egypt’s Cabinet Offers to Resign as Protests Rage

CAIRO — The cabinet offered its resignation on Monday to Egypt’s transitional military rulers as security forces carried out an increasingly lethal crackdown on three days of violent street protests, reviving the uncertainty about Egypt’s future that marked the earliest days of the Arab Spring.

Egypt’s military had been seen as the linchpin of the political transition after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

It was the institution Islamists hoped would steer the country to early elections that they were poised to dominate. Liberals regarded it as a hedge against Islamist power. And the Obama administration considered it a partner that it hoped would help secure American interests.

But the cabinet’s offer to resign, in a bow to the protesters’ demands, was the latest blow to the tenuous legitimacy of the ruling military council, just a week before Egypt is scheduled to hold its first parliamentary elections since Mr. Mubarak’s ouster nine months ago.

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Reeling from the swift collapse of the military’s authority, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamist group, urged protesters to show restraint or risk delaying the elections. But other Islamists, some more conservative and others more moderate, joined secular parties in calling for a protest Tuesday — expected to be the largest yet — demanding that the military hand power to a civilian authority. Read More...


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