Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, delivering a televised address to mark the 1973 war against Israel, said disagreements and mistrust have plagued the period since the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February. Mistrust between Egypt’s new political actors and the ruling military council that took over in February has increased. Activists and political groups are growing critical of the generals’ management of the transitional period, which they promised would last six months. The military would not offer a candidate to be Egypt’s next president, he recently said, in an apparent reply to end a frenzy of speculation that erupted after state television recently broadcast an image of him walking the streets in a civilian suit and tie.
Eight months after Mubarak’s fall, the military rulers have yet to lay out a clear timetable of their plan for handing over power. Instead, they have floated a proposal that would hold a presidential election by late next year. That has prompted several presidential hopefuls to offer their own proposals, asking the military to arrange for balloting by April.