Monday Morning-After: Egypt’s Military Pushing Protesters out of Tahrir, Clean-up under Way
Volunteers have been cleaning up Cairo’s Tahrir Square all weekend as the country’s Supreme Council of the Armed Services focused on the next steps in the reform process. Protesters remain worried about backsliding since so many issues remain in the air and unresolved. The military has been trying to move protesters out of the square, saying they are trying to restore normalcy; it’s reported this morning that the Supreme Council will move to ban protests and strikes while they continue to work on reform.
Several pro-democracy groups met with the Supreme Council of the Armed Services this weekend to discuss reforms:
Egyptian pro-democracy activist Wael Ghonim says the country’s new military rulers have promised him that a referendum will be held on a revised constitution in two months.
Ghonim and blogger Amr Salama posted a note on their website saying they secured the commitment in talks with the military council that took control of Egypt from President Hosni Mubarak when he resigned last Friday. They described Sunday’s meeting as encouraging.
Ghonim, a Google executive, and other cyber activists played a key role in organizing 18 days of nationwide anti-government protests that forced Mr. Mubarak to step down and hand power to the military after 30 years in power.
The activists say the military council told them that a newly-appointed committee will finish drafting constitutional amendments in 10 days and seek public approval for the new charter in a national referendum in two months. Egypt’s military rulers have not confirmed the timelines.”>met with the Supreme Council of the Armed Services
The Supreme Council had already disbanded the parliament and suspended the constitution over the weekend as part of the first steps towards reform.
The Egyptian stock exchange remains closed due to the perception of instability. It was expected that the exchange would re-open this Wednesday, but this now appears to be overly optimistic.
Many Egyptians are angry at the thefts from and damage to the Egyptian Museum. Some pieces have been recovered from the museum’s gardens, but a number of key pieces are still missing. Eighteen pieces are believed to be in the country; Egyptology expert Basaam Al Shama says they likely will not be sold through any public venue as they are well catalogued. He also says it appears the thieves knew what they were looking for as the missing pieces were from a single Egyptian dynasty.