Tantawi spoke on TV. He agreed to hold Presidential elections by July 2012. Al-Arabiya says:
Egypt’s Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi said the ruling military council is ready to hold a referendum on immediate transfer of power to a civilian administration and vowed that the planned Nov. 28 elections would go ahead as planned.
Tantawi said the army was “completely ready to hand over responsibility immediately, and to return to its original mission of protecting the nation if the nation wants that, via a popular referendum, if need be.” … But the concessions were immediately rejected by tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square threatening a “Second revolution.”
Abdulrahman al-Zaghimy, in the collation of youth revolution, told Al Arabiya that Tantawi’s speech came too late, adding that the protesters would continue their sit-in at Tahrir Square until the departure of the military council.
The Guardian adds:
[I]n scenes reminiscent of the street violence that pushed former President Hosni Mubarak from power, protesters in Cairo’s famous Tahrir Square vowed not to leave until Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and his council of generals immediately gave up power to a civilian transitional authority.
The protesters chanted: “We are not leaving, [Tantawi] leaves,” and, “The people want to bring down the field marshal.”
The forthright refusal of the generals’ offer stirred memories of the response to Mubarak’s attempts, played out over three national speeches, to hang on to to power earlier this year.
@ShadiHamid: “If protesters reject these concessions, little doubt in my mind they’re going to lose most of support they have.”
#tantawispeech, or, The Mummy Returns. They need to start a public speaking class at the Egyptian Military Academy.”
Me: If they want to put on a friendly face, why doesn’t the junta call off violence against the protesters? They’re still firing tear gas canisters near the AUC (American University of Cairo) — @Lilianwagdy: “shit frantic pounding in mohammad mahmoud st.”
I’m packing. How many socks to take? How many gas masks?