Egypt's military to shift some authority to premier

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 07, 2011 10:30 hrs

Egypt's interim military leadership has pledged to cede some of its executive powers to newly appointed premier Kamal al-Ganzouri, a move pro-democracy activists dismissed as little more than lip service to their calls for civilian rule.

According to the Wall Street Journal, activists said the decision marks the military's latest effort to meet continuing calls for it to give up leadership with concessions that have done little to upset the established order.

They complained that the military leadership is retaining its hold on power by capitalizing on its renewed prestige and legitimacy following their successful administration of a first round of parliamentary elections.

"They're taking advantage of the reduced momentum in Tahrir Square," said Shadi Al Ghazali Harb, a member of the Revolutionary Youth Coalition and an opponent of the military's continued rule.

He added: "It's a worthless announcement. They're giving authority to a person they fully control and refuse to give it to a revolutionary leader whom they can't control."

Although international monitors reported that the elections were largely free and fair, the High Elections Commission said on Tuesday that runoffs for individual candidates in the Al Sahil neighborhood of Cairo would be held again in January after 300 ballot boxes were lost for unspecified reasons.

If the military yields its constitutional power to appoint and dismiss cabinet ministers, the Islamist-dominated parliament will be well positioned to appoint a prime minister from within its ranks after the new parliament is seated in January. (ANI)

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