News / Africa

Egypt Swears In New Cabinet, Protests Continue

An Egyptian girl walks under slogans supporting the protest at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising where protesters have been demanding a faster pace of reforms, in Cairo, Egypt, July 18, 2011
An Egyptian girl walks under slogans supporting the protest at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising where protesters have been demanding a faster pace of reforms, in Cairo, Egypt, July 18, 2011

Egypt’s top military ruler presided over a ceremony to swear in a new civilian Cabinet Thursday, in an effort to placate protesters who continue to complain that there has not been enough reform since mass demonstrations swept then-President Hosni Mubarak from power in February.  

The swearing-in ceremony in Cairo changed 14 of the 27 members of the Cabinet, including the ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance. The chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, witnessed the ceremony, and met with the new Cabinet afterwards.

The civilian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, who was appointed by the military council, promised the changes to respond to protesters’ complaints about what they see as the slow pace of change.

But the re-shuffle did not include the ministries of Interior and Justice, which are key targets of the protesters, who want more reform in the police force and swift trials for Mubarak and other former officials.

Several hundred protesters are camped out on Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, and say they will not leave until their demands are met.  They are backed by some 25 political groups that have emerged since the revolution.  Every Friday, thousands more protesters join them for marches and rallies, and there are similar events in other cities as well.

A former Egyptian diplomat and declared presidential candidate, Abdullah al-Ashaal, who has been active in the protests, says the Cabinet changes will not satisfy the demonstrators.

“I don’t think so because it seems to me the main target, which is in fact intended by the people in the streets, is not addressed.  We can not move without cleaning the house and putting everyone to trial. Without doing that, Egypt cannot move even for an inch forward,” said al-Ashaal.

Al-Ashaal says so far ministers in the post-Mubarak Cabinet have lacked the commitment to change that the protesters have.

And he is suspicious of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power when President Mubarak resigned.  The council has promised to hold parliamentary elections in the fall, to be followed by the drafting of a new constitution and then a presidential election.

But al-Ashaal says its decision Wednesday not to allow international observers during the elections is disturbing.

“It is very bad because if you are clean and honest, you welcome any foreigner to come to observe.  But if you have other intentions, you put strong bars against the international observers.  It is a test,” al-Ashaal said.

Al-Ashaal is also concerned about indications that the military wants to reserve a special role for itself in the Egyptian political system, including the right to intervene if the country takes a direction top officers do not like.  The military says it wants to ensure there is not an Islamist takeover in Egypt, or any other move that could limit democracy and civil rights.

But al-Ashaal says the army is not needed to safeguard the new Egyptian democracy.  He says the people have proven that they themselves can do that very well.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid