UPDATE 3-Cairo protesters demand early vote, clash with police

Sun Feb 5, 2012 5:19pm GMT

* Protests fuelled by death of 74 in soccer disaster

* Politicians seek early presidential election

* Vote could be as soon as April or May instead of June (Adds comment on detained officials, Al Jazeera on Mubarak)

By Edmund Blair and Yasmine Saleh

CAIRO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Protesters demanding a swift presidential election and an early handover of power by the army hurled rocks at police guarding the Egyptian Interior Ministry on Sunday and were forced back with volleys of teargas.

It was the fourth day of clashes outside the ministry, in which seven people have died. Protesters accuse the ministry of failing to prevent the deaths last week of 74 people after a soccer match in the Mediterranean city of Port Said. Five more have died in Suez.

Some protesters believe remnants of the government of ousted President Hosni Mubarak were behind violence that caused a stampede at the soccer match last Wednesday, and see it as part of a plot to create chaos to reassert their influence.

Political figures and a civilian advisory body to the military have suggested bringing forward a presidential vote to April or May, from the June date foreseen in the transition timetable of the army, which took power after Mubarak quit.

Police and protesters, some waving flags of Al Ahli soccer team which played in Wednesday's match, hurled rocks at each other and police fired round after round of teargas to push the lines of mostly young protesters back from the ministry.   Continued...

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