March 7, 2011 in Nation/World

Egypt names interim Cabinet

Replacements expected to win reformers’ OK
Sarah El Deeb Associated Press
 

CAIRO, Egypt – Egypt’s prime minister-designate named a caretaker Cabinet on Sunday to help lead the country through reforms and toward free elections after the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The changes include new faces in the key foreign, interior and justice ministries – a decision expected to be met with the approval of the pro-reform groups that led an 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11.

Meanwhile, a rally outside the Interior Ministry in Cairo, which houses offices of the State Security agency, was violently broken up.

Protesters have over the past two days rallied outside some dozen state security offices across the nation. In many cases, protesters stormed the buildings, including the main State Security headquarters in the Cairo suburb of Nasr City. The protests followed reports that agents were burning and shredding documents to destroy evidence that would incriminate them in possible cases of human rights abuses.

Dismantling the State Security agency has been a key demand of the protest groups that led the uprising.

In a move clearly designed to respond to such demands, Prime Minister-designate Essam Sharaf has named a new interior minister. Maj. Gen. Mansour el-Essawy, a former Cairo security chief, was expected to replace Mahmoud Wagdi, who has held the post for less than a month.

The Interior Ministry is in charge of the security forces.

El-Essawy, according to a report by the state news agency, pledged after meeting Sharaf that he would work to restore security and reduce the role of the State Security agency.

Sharaf met with 22 other ministerial nominees, including Nabil Elaraby, expected to be Egypt’s foreign minister.

Elaraby was Egypt’s U.N. representative in the 1990s and served as a judge in the International Court of Justice between 2001 and 2006. He was critical of the government’s crackdown against the uprising and was a member of a committee to advise protest leaders on their reform demands.

The new Cabinet has to be approved and sworn in by Egypt’s military rulers.

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