Parliamentary Elections Delayed; Hundreds of Police “Retired”

July 13, 2011 . By

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) postponed parliamentary elections until October or November; the elections were originally scheduled for September. The announcement came amid continuing protests against the SCAF and political concerns over the ramifications of holding elections so early in the transitional period.

Also announced today was the forced retirement or firing of hundreds of senior police figures. Although reported figures varied, up to 669 officers were removed from the force, a move portrayed as a “concession” to the demands of the protestors occupying Tahrir Square for the past six days. The firings, perceived as a “cleansing” measure to a “much-hated” and “widely unpopular [police] force,” included the dismissal of “505 major-generals, 10 [top assistants to the] Interior Minister, 82 colonels, and 82 brigadiers.” 37 of the officers dismissedreportedly “face charges of killing protesters” during the 18 days of theJanuary 25 revolution. Although protestors are seeking reform and accountability in the security sector, forced retirements like these were later described as “safe exits,” at least for the most senior officers, by Amnesty International.