Egypt protesters decry ruling military council, clash with police

[JURIST] As many as 50,000 protesters took to Tahrir Square in Egypt on Friday, decrying the military's continued rule over the nation since the this year's revolution, and on Saturday were met with a reported violent reprisal from police forces. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) [official website] organized the protests earlier this week [press release] in an attempt to force the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder] to "intervene and withdraw the supra-constitutional principles proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Elselmy." The MB believes the proposed law [text] would integrate the military into the political system in violation of the constitution [text]. Since the protests began, reportedly more than 500 people have been injured and 18 arrested [Al Ahram report]. Struggles began when riot police attempted to dismantle a tent camp [Al Jazeera report] memorializing activists killed in the revolution. Latest reports reveal that protesters were attempting to storm the Ministry of the Interior [official website] and were deterred by police firing rubber bullets.

Many fear the recent protests will impede upcoming elections. The November 28 election is considered the first free election following the overthrow [JURIST report] of Mubarak in February. Earlier this week, the Egypt Supreme Administrative Court suspended a verdict [JURIST report] handed down last week by the Mansoura Administrative Court that prohibited former officials of the National Democratic Party (NDP) to participate in the upcoming election. As a result, most of the officials who joined other parties or plan to run independently are now allowed to continue their campaigns for the election. This month, Egypt stated that it will amend its constitution [JURIST report] based on a court ruling from a week before in order to allow citizens living abroad to vote in the parliamentary election. In addition, the SCAF announced that it will create a law that will ban [JURIST report] anyone found guilty of corruption from the election process. Mubarak himself is faced with charges of complicity in the deaths of more than 800 protesters [JURIST report] during the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt [JURIST news archive]. His trial was adjourned [JURIST report] last month and will not resume until December 28. Also last month, an Egyptian court overturned [JURIST report] a ban prohibiting formation of religious-based political parties. Some restrictions, however, still exist in the election process such as prohibition of using religious slogans [JURIST report] during campaigns.

 

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