A million-man march is expected to take place in the famous Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo today. The protest comes in light of popular pressure from pro-revolution forces to pursue a number of demands; applying the political exclusion law and retrying toppled president Hosni Mubarak and six of his Interior Minister’s top officers.
While Mubarak and his Interior Minister Habib Al-Adli were sentenced to life imprisonment, Mubarak’s sons and six of Adli’s commanders were acquitted of the charges. Also, as the court failed to collect the sufficient evidence in the case of killing peaceful protesters, appeals to the Cassation Court could very well lead to the acquittal of Mubarak and Adli, some experts argue.
Raged protests erupted upon the announcing of the verdicts on Saturday.
In a statement in Tahrir Square on Monday, ex-presidential contenders, Hamdeen Sabahi, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Khaled Ali announced that they plan to each lead a march today.
Ali plans to lead a march to the General Prosecutor’s office while Sabahi from Istaqama Mosque to Tahrir.
The three pro-revolution ex-contenders are currently pushing for a presidential council to manage the country instead of the two choices Egypt is left with.
Competing in the second round are the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi and ex-Mubarak aide Ahmed Shafiq. Leftist ex-contender Sabahi came third in the first round of the election while moderate ex-Brotherhood member Aboul Fotouh came fourth.
Ali, labor lawyer and the youngest presidential candidate to run the first round of the race, announced that protests would proceed all week, where a million-man march is expected to take place in Alexandria on Wednesday in the memory of Khaled Saeed.
Twenty-eight year old Saeed who was tortured by police officers in 2010 is seen by many to have sparked the rage that ignited 2011’s popular uprising that led to Mubarak’s ouster.
According to the three pro-revolution ex-contenders, Friday will witness the formation of a civil presidential council.
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, will participate in today’s activities with pro-revolution forces.
Secretary General of the MB, Mahmoud Hussein said that the Brotherhood’s participation comes in response to popular demands, demonstrated in the retrying of “murderers”, the removal and persecution of those who failed to collect or hid evidence of the murders (referring to the case of killing peaceful protesters) and challenging attempts to reproduce the former regime.
Shafiq served as toppled President Hosni Mubarak’s last premier before a popular uprising ended Mubarak’s 30-year old autocratic rule. Following Mubarak’s ouster, public pressure and protests forced Shafiq to step down, but only to have him return to political life as a presidential candidate in the country’s first competitive presidential election.
In an attempt to prevent the “reproduction of the former regime” Egypt’s elected-parliament proposed a law, known as the political exclusion law, to disqualify Shafiq and former Mubarak ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman from the race.
While Suleiman was disqualified for failing to meet the requirements, Shafiq appealed the law which was then referred to the Constitutional Court to approve its validity. The fate of the law remains unknown and Shafiq remains in the race.
In a statement, MB’s Hussein described the initiative to form a presidential council, proposed by the three pro-revolution ex-contenders, as “unrealistic” and argued that the ruling generals (SCAF) will not agree to hand over power except to an elected president.
“The only solution available to save the revolution is to rally behind the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi,” he insisted.