Protests not to stop until Mubarak steps down: Brotherhood lawyer

Abdel-Maksoud said he had no final count on the number of Brotherhood members who had been detained.

Protests not to stop until Mubarak steps down: Brotherhood lawyer

Protests that have rocked Egypt will not abate until President Hosni Mubarak steps down or announces immediate reforms, a lawyer representing the Islamist opposition group Muslim Brotherhood told Reuters on Saturday.

Protests broke out across Egypt on Saturday, the fifth day of nationwide demonstrations against Mubarak's 30-year-rule. The Brotherhood has mostly stayed in the background, but several of its senior officials have been detained.

Mubarak, whose government rules with emergency law, ordered troops and tanks into cities on Friday night in an attempt to quell the demonstrations.

"(People) have legitimate demands that can't be quelled by the army or security. The demands have to be met," Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud said.

"Had the government resigned on Tuesday, things would have calmed down but now demands are increasing," he said.

"Core political reforms have to be made to make people feel these is a seriousness about those reforms, such as scrapping the emergency law and dissolving parliament."

He was speaking before Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman vice president, a post Mubarak occupied before taking the top job and which has never been filled in 30 years of his rule.
He also appointed Ahmed Shafiq as prime minister.

Asked whether Mubarak stepping down would calm nationwide unrest, Abdel-Maksoud said: "This would calm matters significantly but there have to be correct and legitimate alternatives so the country does not fall apart."

"A transitional government of independent individuals has to be formed to govern the nation for six months after which the upper and lower houses of parliament would be dissolved and fair elections held," he said.

Abdel-Maksoud said he had no final count on the number of Brotherhood members who had been detained.

The government has accused the Brotherhood of planning the protests. Opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei and others say the government uses its Islamist opposition as an excuse for authoritarian rule.


Agencies

Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2011, 17:55
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