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Egypt's army leader defiant ahead of polls

world Updated: Nov 28, 2011 00:21 IST

Egypt's army ruler, on Sunday, warned he would not tolerate any pressure ahead of new protests demanding that he step down on the eve of the country's first elections since the January revolution.

Egyptians go to the polls on Monday to cast their first votes for a new parliament after the end of the 30-year rule of strongman Hosni Mubarak, forced from power in February in one of the seminal moments of the Arab Spring.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads a council of generals who took power after Mubarak's fall, called on voters to turn out and said he would not buckle in the face of demands for the army to hand control to civilian leaders.

"We are faced with enormous challenges and we will not allow any individual or party to pressure the armed forces," he said.

"Either succeed politically, economically and socially or face very dangerous consequences... and we will not let that happen," he added.