Egypt's ruling military moved up the date for transferring power to a civilian government to July and made noises today about forming a new Cabinet. But the major concessions did little to assuage tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square threatening a "second revolution." "We are not leaving, he leaves," chanted the protesters, demanding that military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and his council of generals immediately cede power to a civilian transitional authority. "The people want to bring down the field marshal," they shouted in scenes starkly reminiscent of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak nine months ago.
Two politicians who attended a five-hour crisis meeting with the military rulers said the generals accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's government and will form a "national salvation" Cabinet to replace it. Previously, the military rulers had floated late next year or early 2013 as the timetable for transferring power. The military's concession came less than a week before the first parliamentary election since the ouster of longtime authoritarian ruler Mubarak.