As public protests in against the Egyptian military junta moved into their fourth day officials sought to placate the demonstrators by suggesting that the military’s unchecked position over civilian society might theoretically not be permanent.
A visibly nervous Field Marshall Tantawi even delivered a speech telling the protesters that the military might allow a public refernedum on the unchecked power of the military, though exactly how much it would reduce the power was entirely unclear.
And in the end, the protesters loudly scorned the offer, demanding instead that Tantawi leave even as he insisted that the election schedule would be sped up. The elections are supposed to begin next week, but in a staggered schedule that could last years before having a full civilian government of any sort.
Reports are already suggesting that the next scheme by the junta to calm dissent is to appoint a nominal “salvation cabinet” with several key opposition figures. Mohamed ElBaradei has been suggested as the next Prime Minister, though again there is no indication of what powers, if any, a civilian cabinet might have.
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