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Egypt's new cabinet unveils

Updated: 2011-07-18 08:46


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Unclear future

Since July 8, protests have continued in Cairo's Tahrir Square and squares of Alexandria and Suez. Their basic demands included the faster and public trials of Mubarak and his aides, purging of the police officers accused of killing protestors and former regime officials from the current institutions, compensation for the dead in the mass protests which toppled Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

The Interior Ministry announced on July 13 the dismissal of 669 police officers because of their role in cracking down the protests. Dozen of them face trials.

The ruling supreme military council decided to delay the parliamentary vote from September to October or November. On Saturday, the military said trial of civilians in military courts will be restricted to cases of rape, attack on police and armed assaults. To end the trials of civilians in military courts is one of the basic demands of activists.

There have been differences regarding the demands of youth groups and whether to continue the protests. Some youth activists in Tahrir Square insisted continuing the sit-in until all their demands are met.

Some protestors said they wanted Sharaf, the top prosecutor and justice minister to leave. Others said they should give Sharaf another chance.

Youth protestors also demanded the cancellation of the information ministry, which was recently reinstated for a temporary period.

Analysts doubt the reshuffle will appease the protestors and bring an end to the sit-ins since July 8.

The current cabinet was sworn in early March after the fall of Mubarak. Sharaf had been supported by youth groups who believed he would achieve their aspirations.

Protests have become common in Egypt since February, leaving the outside an impression of instability for the most populous Arab country. The country's tourism and investment have been hurt because of the concerns of insecurity. The economic growth faces a sharp fall.

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