Farmers Union to attend Friday protests

Egypt's Farmers Union will participate in planned demonstrations Friday, the union announced Wednesday.

Secular and liberal groups have called for a mass protest under the slogan "Correcting the Path" to pressure the ruling military council to halt military trials for civilians and announce a timetable for a power transfer.

The announcement comes one day after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) tasked the Agriculture Ministry with organizing a Farmers Day celebration at Cairo Stadium, coinciding with the planned protest.

The ministry said it invited nearly 120,000 farmers to the event. It said SCAF head Hussein Tantawi, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, and other ministeral and clerical leaders will attend.

The Farmers Union plans to boycott the celebration and urged Tantawi and Sharaf to cancel the event, which it said belittles Egyptian farmers.

It encouraged farmers to participate in the planned demonstrations.

Meanwhile, 12 political groups said in a statement that they agreed with the Farmers Union head, Mohamed Abdel Qader, to attend the protest.

The groups said farmers will organize a march from the Agriculture Ministry to Tahrir Square, where they will demand the dismissal of ministry officials linked to Hosni Mubarak's regime.

The Free Front for Peaceful Change, the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition, the National Association for Change, the Arab Nasserist Party, Tagammu, and Egypt National Party are among the groups behind the statement.

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