New Egypt PM at Tahrir rally, support people demands

March 5, 2011 - 0:0

Essam Sharaf, the new Egyptian prime minister, has addressed a massive rally by pro-democracy campaigners in Cairo's Tahrir

[Liberation] Square.
The square in the centre of the Egyptian capital was the focal point of anti-government protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak last month.
Making a brief speech, Sharaf said the security apparatus - much hated by the people during Mukarak's rule - must work for the good of the people.
He told the cheering crowds that he had come “to draw legitimacy” from them, and said he will do whatever he can to respond to the revolution demands.
The rally being held after Friday prayers is aimed at pressing the country's military rulers to deliver on their promises of reform.
Friday's demonstration comes a day after the resignation of prime minister Ahmed Shafiq. Sharaf, a former transport minister, was subsequently named the the new prime minister by the military supreme council.
Shafiq's resignation had been one of the protesters' key demands after 18 days of mass rallies forced former president Mubarak to step down on February 11.
'Vocal critic'
Sharaf's appointment has been received well by ordinary Egyptians.
“Certainly he has earned a lot of street credibility with these protesters and more importantly with the political factions who had actually recommended his name to the military council as a potential replacement for the outgoing prime minister,” Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Tahrir, said.
“He was a very vocal critic of the regime and because he himself was seen as a protester when he didn't have any position of power, when he wasn't even considered as a potential prime minister, that certainly earned him a lot of respect.”
Opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, who returned to Egypt to join the protests after heading the Vienna-based UN nuclear agency, welcomed Shafiq's resignation.
“We are on the right track, I express my sincere appreciation to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces who have accepted the demand of the people,” he wrote on the microblogging site Twitter.
Meanwhile on Friday, Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass was quoted in Egyptian newspapers as saying he would not participate in the new government to be led by Sharaf.
Hawass has been a cabinet minister since January 31 when Mubarak named a new government led by Shafiq.
Hawass said he was no longer able to carry out his duties amid what he called a campaign against him by officials at his ministry.
Sharaf has been charged by the military council with forming a new cabinet.
The council had previously ordered the government to run the country's affairs for six months “or until the end of parliamentary and presidential elections”.
(Source: Agencies ) Photo: Reuters Pictures 1 hour ago Egypt's new Prime Minister-designate Essam Sharaf (front) walks before delivering a speech during a pro-democracy rally at Tahrir Square in Cairo March 4, 2011.