Egypt protests continue as elections draw near
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's protest movement has called for a new mass rally on Sunday in Cairo's Tahrir Square to press demands for the country's military rulers to step down in favor of a transitional government headed by leading democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei.
Representatives of 24 youth groups organizing the rally have vowed in a statement posted on the internet that they would not leave the square until military generals transfer power to a "national salvation" government led by ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate and presidential hopeful.
ElBaradei said in a statement issued by his office late Saturday that he is ready to steer the country out of its current political crisis.
More than 40 people have been killed across the country since Nov. 19. This wave of protests kicked off when a small sit-in in Tahrir was violently broken up by security forces, sparking days of deadly clashes.
The Sunday rally, dubbed "Legitimacy of the Revolution," comes one day before the start of voting in the first parliamentary elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. The elections will be held over a three-month period.
The country's most influential and organized political Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, stayed away from the street protests and called on voters to head to the polls. Islamists are expected to do very well in the elections.
The parliament's main duty will be to elect a 100-member panel to draft the country's new constitution.