Egyptian Press: They want more
Doaa El-Bey and Rasha Saad write on how pressure by the public on the Egyptian military and government is intensifying, and the fear that Bashar Al-Assad might repeat the turmoil which brought down Saddam
Writers seemed to agree that the achievements of the past few months, specifically since the 25 January Revolution, have not met the basic demands of the revolution. Last Friday, protests emphasised that people are insisting on the same demands. Thus, many writers called on Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to meet the demands of the revolution quickly.
Ahmed Taha El-Naqr who hailed the achievements of the revolution in ending the worst regime in modern history also hailed Friday's protests "which sent a clear, strong and direct message to the government and ruling army council. Even if these messages were not met by a strong and decisive response from the government or the HCAF, it is important that people in Cairo, Alexandria and the governorates have their say.
"The revolution will succeed whatever dear price it pays. Egypt, that rose and took its destiny in its own hands, will carry on until it achieves the aims of the revolution in establishing a modern democratic state. Thus, the government and the army council should read the people's messages and remember that people are the source of all authority," El-Naqr wrote in the official daily Al-Akhbar.
People in Tahrir want specific demands, namely referring the killers of the protesters to quick justice. El-Naqr wondered whether it is possible to try the protesters in quick military tribunals and try the perpetrators of the "Battle of the Camel" who are supposed to be tried for genocide and crimes against humanity in slow, usual tribunals.
Regarding the other demands, El-Naqr wrote that people also wanted the purging of the Ministry of Information in the proper sense of the word and not by selecting a new minister of information, as well as purging the Ministry of Interior and trying its members who were involved in killing the protesters. People also wanted all the thugs known by name to the Ministry of Interior which recruited them to support the old regime, punished.
El-Naqr concluded by calling on Sharaf to resign and return to Tahrir Square if he fails to meet all the popular demands of the people.
Yasser Abdel-Aziz wrote that the "Revolution First" Friday proved that what happened on 25 January was a real revolution and not a mere rebellion or an uprising and that the protesters are capable of agreeing on some demands and insisting on them.
However, Abdel-Aziz added, Friday showed that the majority of Egyptians are not happy with the turn of events five months after the stepping down of Hosni Mubarak. They are angry, worried and frightened because some members of the corrupt National Democratic Party are still holding senior jobs in the government and the media, police have not been subjected to any purging process and its members who were involved in killing the protesters have not been put on trial.
But, to be fair, Abdel-Aziz acknowledged in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that the revolution will not achieve its goals without the help of the army.
Thus, while the protesters are left with no option except pressure and perseverance, the army is left with less options as it cannot depend any more on wasting time, relying on the weak memory of people and the weakening will of the protesters and their inability to agree.
"There is only one clear national option that unites the protesters and the army council on their quest for building the new Egypt provided they both abide by carrying out the demands of the revolution, liquidating the old regime without delay or procrastination and not attacking one another now or in the future," Abdel-Aziz wrote.
Ibrahim Mansour wrote that the 8 July protesters delivered a strong message to the government, the ruling council and the public: people forced the old regime to step down but its remnants are still ruling; people are still in revolutionary mode and they are against the on-hold policy adopted by those who are ruling.
During the last few months, Mansour explained, there was not a single positive development that equalled the Egyptian revolution which inspired the world. He ascribed that to the slow and conservative way by which the state is being run and which is not different from that of the old regime.
Although the message of 8 July protests was strong, Mansour continued, the ruling army council did not respond and Sharaf came out with a statement that was general and lacking a clear timetable for carrying out the demands of the people which is why, he added, people regarded his words as farcical.
"Had the rulers dealt with the revolution as being genuine that aimed for real change, the matter would have been settled. And we could have focussed on building a new Egypt," Mansour wrote in the newly published independent daily Al-Tahrir.
The editorial of the official daily Al-Ahram said that the protesters gave the Sharaf government the trust and time to meet demands because they assumed that it understood that Egypt is in a state of revolution. But instead of acting according to logic and according to the priorities of the revolution, the government bogged itself down in rotten bureaucracy.
It is not difficult, the editorial added, for any person with the least experience in politics to understand that the first step should be purging the Interior Ministry, then trying those who took part in killing the protesters and granting the families of the martyrs of the revolution their rights.
The edit asked why officers accused of killing protesters were allowed to continue working normally, and why the trials of the symbols of the previous regime were held behind closed doors as if they were victims, at a time when the families of the revolution's martyrs were shown as a group of people who were trying to avenge the government. That distorted picture incited anger, the edit explained, and caused what happened in Tahrir Square and other sites. "It is obvious that what is required now is a new and strong government. Nothing will calm down the revolution and return confidence except a new government."