Thousands of Egyptian activists have held a rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square which they call “reclaiming the revolution”.
Participants in Friday’s rally said they want to press the ruling military to speed up the transfer of power to civilians and revoke emergency laws once used by Hosni Mubarak, the deposed president, against his opponents.
The council has announced that parliamentary elections will start on November 28 with a mixed system of proportional representation and individual lists.
Most political groups fear the system will allow Mubarak supporters to return to office.
Al Jazeera’s Raywa Rageh, reporting from Tahir Square said: “There is a realistion among people that the revolution is in danger. The supreme council of the armed forces will keep an eye on events to see if the people have the political will to ask for change.”
Ramy El Swissy, the co-founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, told Al Jazeera: “Nobody agrees with the election laws, and they [military] are ignoring all political parties.”
The ruling military council has warned demonstrators against attacking public facilities. The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest political force, said it would not join the protest.
Six presidential hopefuls joined forces on Thursday in pressing the military council to set March as the deadline for the peaceful transfer of power.
They also declared that the state of emergency legally expired on Friday. The military council has said it will stay in force until next year.
The presidential candidates issued a statement that said: “The state of emergency in place now will come to an end on September 30, 2011, in accordance with article 59 of the constitutional decree, and any decision or judicial ruling issued after September 30, 2011, based on the state of emergency will be null of any legal or constitutional legitimacy.”
They also demanded reactivation of a law dating back to the 1950s that criminalises abuse of office, to make it possible to try remnants of the Mubarak regime and “render them incapable of sneaking back to the seats of the legislative authority”.
Some 60 political parties issued a joint statement earlier this week giving the military council until Sunday to amend election laws to allow political parties to also compete for seats allocated to individuals.
Egypt’s Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Friday that the government was considering the request.