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Egypt Protesters Vow to Carry On, Reject New PM Appointment

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri, (File).

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri, (File).

Egypt's ruling military council appointed veteran politico and former prime minister Kamal el-Ganzouri to head an interim government Friday, as protesters again gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square demanding an end to military rule.

Thousands turned out for the Friday protest at Cairo's Tahrir Square, waving banners and shouting "freedom, freedom" just hours after the military council announced its selection of Kamal el-Ganzouri as prime minister. In the meantime, a rival demonstration in support of military council took place at Cairo's Abbasiya Square. Crowds were considerably smaller than those at Tahrir Square.

A Look At Egypt's New PM Kamal el-Ganzouri

Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced its selection Friday following mass protests. Previously served as prime minister between 1996 and 1999, under former President Hosni Mubarak.
In his late 70's and succeeds Essam Sharaf as prime minister. Mr. Sharaf's civilian cabinet resigned earlier this week as part of a government concession to protesters demanding more reforms.

He is an economist. Before becoming prime minister during the Mubarak-era, he held government positions that included planning minister.
In a Friday news conference, Ganzouri said he is serving as prime minister "for the sake of the people" and is "part of the people." He added that a new cabinet cannot be formed until after parliamentary elections on Monday.

Kamal el-Ganzouri previously held the post under the government of former president Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in February amid a popular uprising.

Hoda, a 20-something protester wearing a headband and a loosely fitting veil, echoed the anger of many in the crowd at the appointment of an old line politician in his late 70s:

She says protesters vow to stay in the square, demanding that young people play a more visible role. She sees the appointment of Ganzouri as an insult to protesters demanding change from the old guard.

Egyptian TV showed Ganzouri accepting the nomination from Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. Ganzouri later told a press conference that he was being given full authority to deal with the crisis in the country and would try to form an inclusive government:

Ganzouri says he wants extra time to form a government to include various sectors of society.

Cries of “down with Field Marshall Tantawi” went up from the protesters after Ganzouri spoke. Ganzouri, who was previously prime minister from 1996 to 1999, is expected to run the country until a new parliament is seated in early January.

Hassan, a young activist at Tahrir Square, said protesters are looking for a stronger and more independent political figure to lead the interim government.

He says that the protesters want the new government be composed of leaders who are able to stand up to up to the military council.

(Photo credit: AP)