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Egypt's military ruler warns of "extremely grave consequences"

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi urged voters to turn out for the parliamentary elections on Monday.

Image: Bernat Armangue/AP/Press Association Images

THERE COULD BE “extremely grave consequences” if Egypt does not pull through its current political crisis, the country’s military leader said today.

According to the State news agency, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has urged people to turn up at the polls for parliamentary elections starting on Monday.

He said that interim rulers will not allow “troublemakers to meddle” in the election process.

“Egypt is at a crossroads – either we succeed politically, economically and socially or the consequences will be extremely grave and we will not allow that,” he said.

The warning comes as Cairo’s Tahrir Square fills up with protesters demonstrating against the current military administration. They want a civil council established to run the country before a president is elected.

Activists have called a “Legitimacy of the Revolution” rally today, demanding the end of military rule, reports Al Jazeera.

The military took over power when Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February by a popular uprising. It has come under criticism for failing to restore security or get the country’s economy back on track.

Today’s rally marks the ninth consecutive day of protests in which 41 people have been killed. One man was killed yesterday when security forces tried to disperse a crowd. He was run over by a police vehicle.

According to Al Jazeera, Mohamed El-Baradei, an Egyptian presidential candidate popular with activists, announced he would drop his bid to be head of state if the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces acceded to him taking over as interim prime minister.

-Additional reporting by AP

More: Protester dies as demonstrations against new PM continue>

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