Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Tahrir sit-in continues

Though it's faded from headlines, the sit-in in Tahrir square is ongoing.  Protesters have extracted some impressive concessions from the SCAF (and I will now stop postulating that Tahrir has lost its effectiveness as an arena for change).  For an excellent overview of what's happened since July 8th, read the Arabist's cheat sheet.  Here's a summary, though I really recommend reading the full post.  

"Consequences and outcomes of the protests and sit-ins that began last Friday.
  • The military [has confirmed] that parliamentary elections will be around November, resolving the confusion over the fact that there is little time to prepare for their original stated schedule of September. 
  • The draft electoral law has been finalized by the government and presented to the SCAF, which has yet to decree it into law. It provides for a half list-based, half single district-based, electoral system. 
  • PM Essam Sharaf is said to be negotiating the terms of a cabinet shuffle with the SCAF. 
  • Nearly 600 police generals have been retired, and a total of 4,000 ministry of interior officials moved about. 
  • The SCAF and government have promised to appoint dedicated judges for the prosecution of former regime officials and make their court sessions available on live television.
The future of the protests now hangs on several things. One is whether they are satisfied with concessions so far — this does not seem to be the case... The other question is the one of whether popular support for the strikes continues."

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