As protests grow Egypt's military leaders agree to speed up process for presidential elections

November 22, 2011

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(AP/Khalil Hamra)
A protester throws a tear gas canister during clashes with riot police near Tahrir Square.

Earlier today Egypt’s ruling military council agreed to create a new civilian cabinet and speed up the process for presidential elections. 

In a televised address to the nation,  Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,  said presidential elections would be held by July 2012. 

This decision hasn’t impressed protestors.  Tens of thousands have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square for the past several days, demanding the ouster of Tantawi.  His speech today was met with chants of "erhal," or leave.   

According to the Ministry of Health at least 23 people have died since this latest round of protests began. Hundreds have been injured and the protests have spread to several cities outside Cairo.

Egyptian-American Ahmed Rehab has participated in protests in Tahrir Square.  He's currently making a film about Egypt's political transition. 

He's also the executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations and he's been following the latest developments in Egypt. 

He spoke with Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ's Worldview, about the renewed political turmoil - and what it means for the future of the country.