Friday, March 4, 2011

Egyptian Prime Minister resigns

Cairo, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has accepted the resignation of Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, and has appointed former Minister of Transport Essam Sharaf to form a new government, as reported Thursday the military said in a statement posted in their Facebook profile and confirmed by a military spokesman.

Shafiq Ahmed was Minister of Civil Aviation and tried from January 29 to form a government to Egypt after Mubarak's departure. Shafiq an aide said the appointment of Esam Sharaf as Prime Minister took place in time to defuse calls to more mass demonstrations by protesters on Friday after a first change Shafiq modest and failed to appease protesters who want a clear break with the Mubarak era.

"It was a surprising and premature resignation. There have been pressures on the streets to resign," said an aide of Shafiq told Reuters, asking not to be identified. "There was fear of protests on Friday and could be large. I really wanted to go earlier this week also and not to stir up the population," said the assistant.

Even since the departure of Mubarak, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have returned to Tahrir Square in Cairo and other cities to celebrate the fall and send a message to the Army not to ignore the people. Shafiq, commander of the Air Force, has been described by military sources as a potential presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.

Ensure that armed forces would have one of theirs in one of the top jobs in the country. Some analysts had suggested that Shafiq would resign well before presidential elections, expected in the second half of the year within the reforms promised by the Army to provide adequate space for preparing his candidacy for president.

But one of the aides rejected that idea Shafiq after the resignation on Thursday, saying he expected to come forward. The Muslim Brotherhood and other political groups had also called for the march Shafiq and his government, in which key posts such as defense, justice, interior and exterior were designated during the Mubarak era.

These groups have demanded a new line of technocrats as ministers after 30 years in power Mubarak. The cabinet will act as the interim government, while Egypt held a referendum on constitutional amendments in March, a parliamentary vote in June and a presidential approximately six weeks later.

Sharaf was Minister of Transport from 2004 to 2006, then returned to teach at the University of Cairo. He received a Ph.D. from Purdue University in the United States in 1984.

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