Egypt's new prime minister took office Friday amid the accolades of tens of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square, his first stop.
“I am here to draw my legitimacy from you. You are the ones to whom legitimacy belongs,” newly-installed Prime Minister Essam Sharaf told the crowd of flag-waving demonstrators in Cairo.
General Mansour el-Essawy was named Interior Minister, the state news agency MENA reported. El-Essawy was quote as saying his priorities included reinforcing security, which has been lax since the upheaval began on January 25 that toppled the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.
The euphoria stood in stark contrast to the sober scene in an Egyptian courtroom the following day as former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly pleaded not guilty to corruption charges and suspicion of destroying evidence.
The arraignment of el-Adly was the first of what is expected to be a parade of ousted officials from the former government. Until his arrest February 17, el-Adly had controlled all police and security forces in the country since entering office in 1997.
Despite the change in administration however, the situation in Egypt is far from stable. Hundreds of protesters torched a security compound in Alexandria Friday night and mobs took over or massed around other security compounds around the nation, including the Cairo headquarters of the state security police.