Egypt’s New Cabinet Met With Protests
What’s the Latest Development?
After the expulsion of President Hosni Mubarak by popular revolt, Egypt’s new ministers will take the oath of office on Monday in front of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the leader of the military council that took control of Egypt after Mubarak’s resignation. “State TV dubbed Prime Minister Essam Sharaf’s new lineup the ‘Revolution Cabinet’. Most of the ministers were relative newcomers in an apparent effort to avoid further criticism by the protesters.” Still, thousands of protesters have returned to Tahrir Square, the center of Egypt’s uprising, demanding quicker change.
What’s the Big Idea?
The military council that currently controls the government promised a parliamentary election in September with a presidential vote to follow. At least 15 ministers, or more than half the cabinet, are being replaced, including those for foreign affairs, finance, military production and trade and industry. A backdrop to the current electoral discussions is the health of Egypt’s deposed former-president. There are conflicting reports as to whether Mubarak is in a coma or, as many citizens in Egypt would prefer, in good health and fit to stand trial. He is charged with abuse of power and the killing of more than 840 people who died in the 18 days of demonstrations that led to his removal.