Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog Egypt New Prime Minister Cabinet

Egypt New Prime Minister Cabinet

Essam Sharaf

Essam Sharaf

Egypt cabinet takes oath of office

New prime minister and ministers for key porfolios expected to win the approval of pro-reform groups.

Egypt’s new prime minister and his cabinet have been sworn in by the country’s military rulers.

Egyptian state television on Monday showed members of the government taking their oath before Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt’s armed forces supreme council.

Headed by Essam Sharaf, the prime minister, the cabinet, includes new faces in the key foreign, interior and justice ministries.

Sharaf was appointed on Thursday after protests against the presence of allies of Hosni Mubarak, the ousted president, in the caretaker government.

The new cabinet is expected to be met with the approval of the pro-reform groups that led the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak from power on February 11.

The government’s main job will be to help steer the country through reforms, a constitutional referendum and towards free elections.

Fresh faces

Among the most notable faces in the cabinet designed to meet protesters’ demands, is Major-General Mansour El-Essawy, a former Cairo security chief, who replaces Mahmoud Wagdi as interior minister.

El-Essawy, according to a report by the state news agency, pledged after meeting Sharaf on Sunday that he would work to restore security and reduce the role of the hated state security agency, which is blamed for human-rights abuses against Mubarak’s opponents.

On Sunday, army soldiers fired in the air and used stun guns to disperse hundreds of protesters who attempted to storm the state security offices inside the interior ministry in downtown Cairo.

The protesters said they wanted to see for themselves whether the building had secret cells and to stop officers from destroying possibly incriminating documents.

Al Jazeera has learnt that on Monday Egypt’s general prosecutor ordered the detention of 47 police officers and personnel for burning documents at several state security headquarters.

Christian protests

Also in the new cabinet is Nabil Elaraby, who was Egypt’s UN representative in the 1990s, taking up the post of foreign minister.

Elaraby also served as a judge at the International Court of Justice between 2001 and 2006.

He replaces Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, who was in the post since 2004 but who maligned the protesters in the early days of the uprising.

Separately on Monday, a mainly Christian crowd of 1,000 people held a protest outside the state television building over the burning of a church in the outskirts of Cairo.

Some Muslims joined the protest.

Witnesses and a security source said the church in Helwan was torched after a row sparked by a relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.

source: Egypt cabinet takes oath of office – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

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