Monday, July 11, 2011

Egypt: PM Plans Cabinet Reshuffle, Police Purge

Egypt Prime Minister Plans Cabinet Reshuffle, Police Purge

July 11, 2011

Mariam Fam

Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said he plans to reshuffle his Cabinet within a week and ordered the purging of senior police officers involved in crimes against protesters, a demand of demonstrators.

“We are going through a historic moment,” he said yesterday in a televised speech. “I ask the great Egyptian people to give the new government the full opportunity to work for the future of Egypt and to realize the goals of the revolution.”

Sharaf ordered disciplinary action by July 15 against senior police officers involved in abuses of protesters and called for swift, public trials for all the “symbols of the former regime and the killers of the revolutionaries.”

He also said there would be a change of governors before the end of the month.

“We demanded that the ministers be changed,” said Sally Moore, a member of a coalition of protesting groups. “The problem is that there has been no change; nothing has changed,” she said before Sharaf’s speech.

Egyptian protesters continued sit-ins in Cairo and elsewhere, calling for the prosecution of former government officials accused of corruption and involvement in killing demonstrators during the revolt that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.

Protesters in the capital’s central Tahrir Square have put forward seven demands, including an end to military trials of civilians and the firing of rogue Interior Ministry officials.


“There’s lack of trust in the prime minister and in the government in general,” Emad Gad, of the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said before the announcement. “If this is a large reshuffle that brings fresh faces to most of the ministries, then he may be given a second chance.”

Gad said many protesters have come to see the prime minister as “a front for the military council.” The council took interim authority from President Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down on Feb. 11 after mass protests.

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