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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid