CAIRO — The center of the capital erupted in violence again on Friday as military police beat up demonstrators challenging military rule, angry protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at the empty Parliament building, and hundreds of judges monitoring the parliamentary elections threatened to quit over violence around ballot-counting the night before.

The Ministry of Health said two people were killed, eight were wounded by live ammunition, and nearly 220 others injured in the chaos as of early evening Friday. In response to the eruption of violence, at least two members resigned in protest from a new civilian advisory council established by Egypt’s military rulers to bolster their tenuous legitimacy.
The chaos came in the course of Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the ouster 10 months ago of former strongman Hosni Mubarak. It is a new blow to the moral authority of the ruling military council, whose military police watched passively for at least eight hours as a small group of men hurled chunks and tiles of marble from the top of the towering Parliament building into a growing crowd of protestors on the street below. The rain of rocks did nothing to disperse the protestors — in fact, their numbers grew from hundreds to thousands by nightfall — but still sent a parade of demonstrators to the hospital with wounds to the head.

The fighting injected an unpredictable new variable into a looming confrontation between the military council and the incoming Parliament over control of the transitional government and the drafting of a new constitution.
The military has sought to carve out permanent political powers and autonomy under the new charter. In a recent briefing with foreign reporters, a general on the council argued the military should give its own chosen representatives a voice in choosing a constitutional drafting committee because social instability surrounding the elections would undermine the elected Parliament’s ability to speak for the public. But civilian political leaders — led by the Islamists who are dominating the polls — have insisted that Parliament alone should control the transitional government and constitutional drafting.
The violence broke out as reports of party officials monitoring ballot counting said the second phase of the three-part election for a lower Parliament confirmed the trend of the first: the Islamist party founded by the Muslim Brotherhood led the polling, followed by the ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis, and then an alliance of liberal and leftist parties known as the Egyptian Bloc.
Ziad el-Elaimy, a leading figure in the liberal Social Democratic party who won a seat in Parliament as part of the Egyptian bloc, said he was beaten by security forces when he arrived on the scene. He said a military policeman beating him warned, “The Parliament can’t protect you from us,” according to a report from the state-run newspaper Al Ahram.

In a telephone call broadcast over television coverage of the clashes, Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, compared the fighting to the six days of bloody street fighting with security forces that raged nearby for six days until the military intervened to stop it on the eve of the elections. He said the violence served to “distract” the public from the free and fair elections and urged an “immediate investigation.”
Kamal Ganzoury, the prime minister recently installed by the military rulers, canceled his appointments and left his office at 2:30 in the afternoon, declining to comment on the clashes.
Amr Hamzawy, a leading liberal elected to the Parliament, said in a statement posted on the Internet that he had seen several protestors wounded by bullets and filed a police complaint against the military council. He called the violence more evidence that the military council had lost its legitimacy, and he urged those who had agreed to join its new civilian advisory council to withdraw. “Where is the advisory council?” he wrote. “Didn’t its members realize the mistake of joining it yet?”
Like the weeklong battle before the elections, Friday’s fighting began when military police tried to clear out a sit-in, this one in front of the prime minister’s office. About 200 protesters had camped out there for three weeks to protest the continuation of military rule, demanding that the generals turn over power to civilians.

Military police began clearing out the tent camp blocking the entrance to the prime minister’s office around dawn, using clubs to beat the occupants and burning their tents. The military police beat up and detained about 20 people, including a producer for Al Jazeera’s English-language news channel.
“Army troops with shields and batons charged out of both ends of parliament street, and bottled every1,” he wrote in an account online. “Beatings indiscriminate. Soldiers and men in plain clothes beat me with batons, wooden sticks, and once with a crowbar before I was taken inside.” He wrote that he was taken to a hospital to check a head wound and received stitches.
Word of the clashes brought hundreds of people into the streets. Soldiers retreated back to the Parliament building, sometimes using water cannons to beat back protestors. Some of the protesters hurled Molotov cocktails; a guardhouse erupted into a bonfire. Although most of the men hurling rocks at the protesters were in plain clothes, a few men in uniform were seen as well.
But the signs of chaos began the night before. After relatively smooth voting, violence broke out around several centers for counting ballots in three different governorates. Supervising judges, candidates and other civilians were trying to enter the centers, and soldiers — apparently trying to push back the crowds — attacked them with batons and in some cases electric prods, judges said Friday.

“They attacked everyone including voters, candidates and judges,” said Judge Mahmoud el-Sherif, the spokesman for the judges’ association. “In some incidents we said we’re judges and the assault continued anyway,” he continued. Of the thousands involved in supervising the elections, he added, “Hundreds of judges informed us they no longer want to supervise elections and some of them even said they intend to resign from the judiciary altogether.”
He blamed poorly prepared security forces and losing candidates who may have sought to create “artificial crisis,” and he called the problems a basis for invalidating the returns from certain locations but not the overall results.
However, Judge Zakaria Abdel Aziz, who is a member of an organization of judges pushing for judicial independence here, said he believed the scale of violence suggested that the chaos was intentional and compromised the elections as a whole.
“Since when did the army attack citizens,” he said. “These are deliberate moves when judges are assaulted in all the governorates witnessing elections. I saw a judge myself who was assaulted by a lieutenant and his clothes were ripped. This is the farce of all farces.”

Election monitors raised concerns about the violence at the ballot counting centers as well. “The fact that the problems in the counting centers seems to have become worse rather than better is not a good sign,” said Les Campbell, who is overseeing the election monitoring for the National Democratic Institute. “There were already tremendous problems in the first round.”
He noted that the renewed violence in the streets could threaten the integrity of the election results as well. “The atmosphere today does not sound conducive to the peaceful choosing of one’s leader,” he said. “A running battle in the street, even if it is not affecting you directly, has an influence on the state of mind of voters and their feeling of security and whether they feel like the election is being conducted in a proper manner.”
The ruling military council issued no response to the violence Friday, although its top officer, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, reportedly ordered those injured in the street battle transferred to military hospitals.

Moataz Billah Abdel Fattah, a political scientist and former advisor to the transitional government, announced on his Facebook page that he was resigning the military council’s new civilian advisory council and urged others to do the same.
“I will resigns (and others may follow) from the advisory council in protest to this unjustified violence from the military police against the peaceful protesters,” he wrote. “If what’s happening is intentional and planned, then it’s a conspiracy that I will not take part in. And if it wasn’t intentional or planned, then it means that we’re facing broken/disjointed institutions with no knowledge of how to manage crises, and consequently I won’t be able to correct their behavior no matter what I did. Allah is there for you, Egypt.”
By the end of the day, at least one other member of the 30-person council had also resigned and a third suspended her membership.
Ahmed Khairy, a member of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, also announced his resignation from the advisory council in a statement on the Internet. “I apologize for all those who blamed me for joining it. You were right.”

By The Latest New Staff