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article image10,000 Egyptians rally in Cairo — ‘No leftovers from Mubarak!’

By Anne Sewell     Apr 14, 2012 in World
Cairo - Thousands of Egyptians once against took over Tahrir Square yesterday in support of a law to put a 10-year ban on Mubarak supporting officials in office.
Coming just over a month before the Egyptian presidential poll, over 10,000 Egyptians filled Tahrir Square in central Cairo. The rally is being called "Protecting the Revolution" and is the first demonstration to happen in months.
The Islamist-dominated protest is largely aimed against Omar Suleiman. Suleiman was the former intelligence chief in President Mubarak's government and he has recently said that he intends to run for the Presidential seat.
AP quoted a protester saying: “If Omar Suleiman became president, it would turn to a pool of blood, and people would stay in the square for 10 years.”
Khairat al-Shater, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood has said on Sunday, just after Suleiman filed his candidacy: "I consider his entry an insult to the revolution and the Egyptian people."
Others dubbed Suleiman “another Mubarak.” Banners displayed Suleiman as the "Zionist candidate".
However, Suleiman is not the only candidate coming under fire in the protest. Protesters also carried banners with the portrait of the former Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, with a cross through the image. Shafiq has also apparently announced his intention to run for the Presidential office.
Protesters in Tahrir Square  Cairo.
Protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo.
Operation Egypt2
Other banners proclaimed: “The people want to oust the remnants,” referring to Mubarak party officials, on a coffin carried in the crowd.
“The people want to bring down the field marshal,” was another slogan chanted by the crowd, referring to Field Marshall Ahmed Hussein Tantawi, who is head of the Military Council and is acting as Egypt's provisional head of state.
The latest protest came just one day after the Islamist-dominated parliament adopted a new law to ban officials that served under Mubarak running for office within the next 10 years, which law has not yet been ratified by the Military Council.
This law, however, does not affect former ministers, and would allow liberal Amr Moussa, the former foreign minister of Egypt under Mubarak, to run for presidency.
Once allies in the struggle, where both sides rallied against the against the Mubarak regime, now relations between the Islamists and the liberals have grown tense.
Some young activists have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of siding with the Military Council, which both the Islamists and liberals previously blamed for violent crackdowns and other violations.
Now both sides are at odds over the composition of the 100 member panel, which is being created to write the country's new constitution. Islamists are being accused of attempting to pack this panel with their own members. The panel was later suspended by a Cairo court, which said that the way the panel is being formed breaches constitutional guidelines in the country.
The new elections will be the first since the collapse of the former Mubarak regime. Mubarak, 83, ruled Egypt for around 3 decades and is currently facing trial for the use of force which resulted in many deaths among the pro-democracy protesters during the revolution last year
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