Egypt PM says to reshuffle cabinet within a week

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 11, 2011 5:34 PM
Egypt PM says to reshuffle cabinet within a week

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said on Monday he would reshuffle his cabinet within a week after protests about slow reforms and foot-dragging in prosecuting ousted president Hosni Mubarak and senior aides.

Sharaf said in an address on Egyptian state television that he had also asked Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawy, to speed up measures to restore security and order.

He was speaking after a fourth day of protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that have brought traffic in the heart of the capital to a standstill. Protesters are angry at what they say is the ruling military council's failure to deliver on promises.

Sharaf said he had decided to "conduct a cabinet reshuffle within a week to achieve the objectives of the revolution."

Some members of the cabinet, mainly technocrats, were among those appointed in the last days of Mubarak's rule.

Sharaf said he had also decided to shuffle provincial governors before the end of the month to meet public aspirations.

Hundreds of people joined Monday's demonstrations, a continuation of protests against the slow pace of reform that began on Friday. Some protesters have camped out in Tahrir, erecting tents and canopies on traffic islands in the square.

The square was the heart of the movement that brought down Mubarak on February 11. Five months on, many Egyptians are frustrated that Mubarak's trial has yet to start, though other Egyptians are tired of the protests that disrupt their lives.

Mubarak's trial is set for August 3, but protesters say the army has been reluctant to put the former president in the dock.

Former interior minister Habib al-Adli has been jailed for 12 years for corruption, but his trial over the killing of protesters continues. Protesters say the Interior Ministry has yet to be purged of officials who backed tough police tactics.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba, Writing by Sami Aboudi and Edmund Blair, editing by Tim Pearce)