Egypt Postpones Swearing-In of New Cabinet
Protesters complained that the new cabinet retains ministers they wanted sacked.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/19/2011, 3:04 PM / Last Update: 7/19/2011, 3:53 PM
Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf on Monday postponed the swearing-in of a new cabinet after protesters said the shakeup did not go far enough.
Sharaf heads a caretaker government after a revolt in January and February overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak. He had hoped the sweeping reshuffle would persuade the protesters to end a 10-day-old sit-in at Cairo's Tahrir Square, AFP said.
But the protesters were unsatisfied, and said that the new cabinet retains ministers they wanted fired, including Justice Minister Abdel Aziz al-Gindi. They accuse al-Gindi of delaying trials of former regime officials, including Mubarak.
Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawy is also set to retain his post. The police, who fall under his ministry, are particularly resented by protesters because of the way they tried to suppress the uprising.
Youthful leaders of the sit-in dismissed the shake-up and said that the real power still lies with the military council that assumed power after Mubarak's ouster.
Sharaf says 14 of his 27 Cabinet members, including the ministers of finance and foreign affairs, have been replaced.
Late Monday, VOA News reported, Sharaf was taken to a Cairo hospital for medical tests after suffering a drop in blood pressure. A Cabinet source said he was later released in stable condition.
Nearly 900 protesters were killed during the popular uprising against Mubarak’s 30 year regime.
Meanwhile, Egypt's military has issued a decree empowering a top judge to form an electoral commission that will organize the country's first parliamentary elections, now expected to take place in November.