Demonstrators in the Egyptian capital have blockaded the building of the government situated not far from Tahrir Square where they are rallying against the freshly appointed Prime Minister.
Kamal el-Ganzouri, who was appointed Egypt’s head of government on Friday, has been reportedly given by the military more powers than his predecessor.
He has promised not to form power until the results of the elections are announced. But the protesters have been infuriated by his appointment, calling it illegitimate because el-Ganzouri was working in the very same position in the end of 1990s under rule of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
The new PM insists he will not work with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi because the latter has no intentions to stay in power, but the protesters refuse to give him credit.
The Egypt’s military has failed to lift the much hated emergency laws and transfer legislative powers so Egyptians naturally feel nothing has really changed since Mubarak exit.
“People are back out on the streets, occupying the Tahrir Square to say things have to change,” Ann Wright, an anti-war activist and retired U.S. army colonel who is in Cairo at the moment, spending whole day on Tahrir Square.
“They represent a huge amount of Egyptian populus,” she says, “the overwhelming support for change is there.”
Ann Wright says the excessive use of police force on civilian protesters over the last week, the clashes accompanied by heavy handed use of different types of tear gas, make it clear the new power is not willing to speak the people’s concerns over.
Now the protesters put the blame for those who died in clashes with the police on the military council that rules the country.
Still, Ann Wright reports, those people she spoke to on the Square do not want any violence whatsoever and just expect for the elections to come so that they can give their votes to change the situation in the country peacefully.
This is really wonderful that Egyptians once again go to Tahrir Square because that means they are going to continue to fight for their revolution, says Sara Marusek a researcher at Syracuse University.
“It is clear that [Egyptian] military is tempted to preserve as much undemocratic power as possible. Egyptians basically go to the streets saying ‘No, this is not OK.’ This is really an ongoing revolution which is really nice to see Egyptians fighting for.”
Marusek predicts that the former regime’s main opponent – the Muslim Brotherhood – will be very cautious and pragmatic dealing with the military junta in power, concentrating on the forthcoming elections.
The scenario with President Hosni Mubarak in January seems to be repeating itself now as the military in power seem to be far from comprehending the situation on the ground, argues Oda Osman, the president of the US-based Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association.
“The members of the council [that currently rules Egypt] appeared on TV at a press conference on Friday justifying their actions. It does not seem that they are willing to actually hand power.”
The determination and spirit of protesters that made President Mubarak to eventually step down is still strong and they believe they can do it again, this time with the new military rulers, Osman says.
“Protesters definitely do not trust the military,” insists Osman, because they would not let anyone control the country for the time being, using a puppet government at least that do exactly what it said.
The analyst believes that in distinction from toppling Mubarak the protestors now have a sort of consensus: they want the military to hand over power to a civilian government, so now all eyes are on Monday’s elections.