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» 25.02.2013 - Opposition to boycott another Egypt election?
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Politics | Society

Egypt PM Shafiq resigns after protests

Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq at a Cairo press conference

© Egypt govt/afrol News
afrol News, 3 March
- Protesters from Cairo's Tahrir Square again are jubilant as Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. The new PM, technocrat Essam Sharaf, was on the protesters' list of proposals.

"Hurray to the power of the Egyptian people; bye-bye Shafiq," a jubilant Mona Seif celebrated just minutes after Egypt's ruling military council had declared the change in government. Ms Seif is one of the most profiled protesters at Tahrir Square.

The resignation of Mr Shafiq comes after renewed protests on the central Cairo square had called for more profound change in the power structures of post-revolutionary Egypt. Especially Prime Minister Shafiq was seen as a symbol of the old Mubarak regime, conserving its old power structures.

Indeed, protesters had planned for yet another mass mobilisation on Friday, directed towards the Shafiq government and with a call for more radical change in the country. The pressure against Mr Shafiq was becoming too high.

Protesters in Tahrir Square have called for more profound change, especially in government and among the security forces, while the transition process prepares for democratic structures and elections. Especially the police forces, vital in suppressing the Egyptian protests, are still causing popular anger.

Egyptian protesters meanwhile have improved their organisation. A "Coalition of Young Revolutionaries" is among the groups now pressurising the military council and civilian transition government. The groups want to assure that the transition process has popular participation and leads to a true democracy.

Among the main demands of these popular pressure groups has been the establishment of a transitional government of non-biased technocrats to make sure the power structures of the old Mubarak regime cannot regroup and prepare a takeover of power following the planned elections.

Consequently, the pressure groups are satisfied with the military council's choice of a new Prime Minister. "Essam Sharaf, the new PM, was on our list of suggestions for a technocrat government," Ms Seif assures from Cairo. Mr Sharaf had been with the protesters at Tahrir Square, Ms Seif adds.

The new Prime Minister indeed openly had declared his support for the Egyptian protesters in the earlier days. Mr Sharaf is a former Transport Minister, but was a strong critic of ex-President Hosni Mubarak after leaving his government post in 2006. He is also a professor of engineering, according to the Egyptian newspaper 'Ahram'.

Prime Minister Sharaf is expected to lead a much closer dialogue with the popular groups that stood behind the massive protests. His appointment could indeed assure that the post-revolutionary Egypt succeeds in creating a new course, co-decided by the people.

Ms Seif, meanwhile, says she will participate in tomorrow's protests at Tahrir Square. There, "I will celebrate the kicking out of Shafiq and remind the new Prime Minister of the remaining demands of the 25 January movement," she insists.

Revolution is a process. In Egypt, the revolution goes on and on, peacefully but yet powerful.

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