Million-strong demonstration planned for Friday

Twenty-one political parties and movements have announced their intention of participating in a million-strong march to take place in Cairo and other governorates on Friday.

The demonstration is intended to apply pressure to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on a number of issues related to the transition to democracy and the prosecution of members of the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The military council has been strongly criticized for failing to fully consult members of pro-revolutionary groups and parties on various decisions taken since the 25 January revolution, including the passage of several new laws, such as the political rights law and a law prohibiting public demonstrations.

Pro-revolutionary forces have been trying to pressure the military council into bringing to justice those members of the former regime suspected of having killed demonstrators during the upsrising, stolen public funds or incited sectarian strife. The also want the trials of those currently being investigated to be speeded up.

Protesters are expected to call for a national purging of state institutions of former members of the Mubarak regime and former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party.

Some political groups are demanding that a new constitution be written before the parliamentary elections, a move that would conflict with the outcome of the constitutional referendum held in March of this year.

Islamist groups, meanwhile, said that they would not take part in the demonstration, which they consider to be against the people's interests. The Muslim Brotherhood said the demonstration had been called for by secular people and communists. Salafi Muslims have said that they consider the demonstration a breach of Islamic sharia.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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