In the nine months since president Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power, Egyptians have increasingly voiced concerns that the military council’s rule has left the country little changed. Now, with violents protests rocking the country, it’s beginning to look like January all over again.
As the Post’s Leila Fadel reports, Egypt saw its third day of violence on Monday, as thousands demonstrated in Tahrir Square ahead of national elections Clashes between armed security forces and demonstrators left at least 22 people dead — and possibly 30, by a count at the Cairo morgue. Meanwhile, members of the ruling council insisted elections would go on, and a new government would be formed.
Flash back to Jan. 28, the day the “Friday of Anger” protests began, and news headlines are much the same. Hundreds of thousands demonstrated in Tahrir Square and around the country that day. Clashes between armed security forces and demonstrators left some 30 people dead. Meanwhile, Mubarak pledged in an address to the nation to form a new government.
Photos of the clashes also showed similarities between Egypt of January and now — the square is flooded, wounded protesters are on stretchers and dead bodies are heaped on top of one another:
Independent Egyptian newspaper Al-Tahrir pointed out the similarities in clashes, too. An editorial titled “Is the Field Marshal following in Mubarak’s footsteps?” blames the violence on poor political judgment by the ruling military council, akin to judgment exercised by Mubarak in January. Independent Egyptian blog Al-Masry Al-Youm echoed the sentiment: “In Tahrir Square, it’s January again.”
Watch AP video from January and now:
Amr Moussa, the former Arab League chief who is a front-runner in the presidential race, said in an interview that despite the weekend’s violence, voting would go on as scheduled. “This is one of the worst things Egypt has met since Jan. 25, but this is not the end of the road,” he said.