Tens of thousands of Egyptians rallied in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday demanding that the ruling military council keeps to a promise to hand over power by June.
With a little over a month until Egypt’s presidential election first round protesters said they were worried that the military might try to stay on after the vote.
Earlier this week, several high profile candidates were prevented from entering the presidential race including former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
“Our main demand is to stop ex-Mubarak officials like Amr Moussa from running. We want the constitution drawn up in time to allow a proper power handover and the release of all political prisoners,” said one protester from the 6th April Facebook movement.
Some demonstrators were suspicious about the intentions of Egypt’s ruling military council after accusations of mismanagement.
“I came here to say that we don’t want military rulers. We’ve just got rid of thieves, we don’t want anymore,” said one woman, a Salafi party supporter.
Many protesters blamed Islamist groups that control both houses of parliament for delays writing the new Egyptian constitution. The military council wanted it finished by the time the election is decided.
Islamist groups have stayed away from previous protests to curry favour with the ruling military. But on Friday they were also out in force. Some commentators think it is a sign that their patience with the outgoing leaders has also become strained.
Riad Muasses, euronews correspondent in Cairo said: “Some analysts have warned that these protests could backfire and give the military council an excuse to cancel the election altogether.”