On the fifth day of protests in Tahrir Square, Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi addressed the nation with the offer of concessions including a referendum on the immediate transfer of power to a civilian government, and the election of a president by July 2012.
His pre-recorded address also angrily defended the army’s record during the transitional period and said they had been “patient” in the face of “insults.”
His words had little effect on the hundreds of thousands of protestors gathered in Tahrir Square, who responded with enraged chants of “Leave, leave.” An effigy of Tantawi in military uniform dangled from a lamppost on the square.
Activists’ calls for a “million-man march” on Tahrir Square had been effective, with crowds growing throughout the day. As the death toll rose to 36 after fierce fighting