Military official reiterates promise for power handover by June

The armed forces will hand over power to civilians by the end of June as military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has promised, a prominent military official reiterated Tuesday.

Major General Hassan al-Roweiny, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) member and Central Command chief, said the military will hand over power to an elected president.

In a speech on 22 November, Tantawi pledged to hand over power to civilians after holding presidential elections by end of next June.

While inspecting polling stations in Heliopolis, Roweiny refused to comment on discussions about forming the new government, saying, “This is not among my duties.”

Roweiny said Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, who's charged with forming a national salvation government, has enough administrative experience to lead the government and that the SCAF will not intervene.

Roweiny asked people not to judge the new government before it starts work. He added that restructuring the Interior Ministry is an internal ministry concern.

The armed forces will not end protests in Tahrir Square and in front of the cabinet building, Roweiny added, saying the military supports Egyptians' right to protest.

He expressed the SCAF's readiness to meet with representatives from the protests to hear their demands.

“I believe a political solution is better than a security one. I’m ready to meet and negotiate with any of the protesters," he said.

The sit-in, now in its 18th day, started with a protest on 18 November against the supra-constitutional principles document being proposed by then-Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy.

The next day, violence broke out as security forces attempted to forcibly end the sit-in, and thousands took to the square to support those under attack. Several days of violent clashes between protesters and security forces followed, leaving 43 dead.

Since the violence ended, the number of protesters in Tahrir Square has gradually decreased, aided by the start of parliamentary elections. Many protesters have relocated their sit-in to the front of the nearby cabinet building.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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