Tag Archives: Protest

Hosni Mubarak’s last remnant

Egyptian PM Ahmed Shafiq quits

By Mona Salem | AFP News

Egypt‘s military rulers have accepted the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, seen by protesters as a symbol of ousted president Hosni Mubarak‘s regime, the army said on Thursday.

He will be replaced by Essam Sharaf, a former transport minister who took part in the mass rallies in Cairo‘s Tahrir Square which led to strongman Mubarak’s resignation on February 11 after three decades in power.

Shafiq was appointed by Mubarak in the dying days of his rule, in a failed bid to quell the protests. The military council has been running Egypt since Mubarak stood down.

“The Supreme Council of Military Forces announces that it has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq,” the statement said, without elaborating on the reasons for the move.

Since the fall of Mubarak, protesters have continued to call for a replacement of the current government, which includes several ministers from the toppled regime.

The council has previously ordered the government to run the country’s affairs for six months “or until the end of parliamentary and presidential elections” and is also examining constitutional reforms.

Shafiq had been expected to stay in office at least until the elections.

His successor, Sharaf, was transport minister from 2002 to 2005. He was sacked over differences with then-premier Ahmad Nazif. Nazif was himself sacked four days after the start of the anti-Mubarak protests.

Sharaf is popular with the youths who launched the revolt against Mubarak, having taken part in the huge demonstrations in Tahrir Square in central Cairo.

Key opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, who headed the Vienna-based UN International Atomic Energy Agency from 1997 to 2009 and returned to Egypt join the protests, welcomed Shafiq’s resignation.

On Twitter, he said: “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.”

The nationwide protests that erupted on January 25 left at least 384 dead, more than 6,000 injured and scores detained.

Mubarak is currently receiving medical treatment for cancer in Saudi Arabia, a state-owned newspaper reported on Wednesday, despite the fact that the government imposed a travel ban on him and his family at the weekend.

The paper reported that Mubarak left for the Saudi city of Tabuk days after he resigned.

Egypt’s military council met a group including ElBaradei and Arab League chief Amr Mussa on Tuesday to discuss upcoming reforms, the state news agency MENA said.

The talks focused on constitutional reform, especially on the conditions for presidential candidates and the reduction of the number of terms to two of four years instead of an unlimited number of six-year terms, it said.

Mussa said last month he would be a candidate for Egyptian president.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/egypt-pm-ahmed-shafiq-resigns-20110303-023555-809.html


Economic Meltdown

Egypt ‘faces wave of strikes

By – AFP News

The Egyptian political protests that toppled the regime of strongman Hosni Mubarak have given way to a nationwide “explosion” of pay strikes, a pressure group tracking industrial action told AFP on Monday.

Workers in banking, transport, oil, tourism, textiles, state-owned media and government bodies are striking to demand higher wages and better conditions, said Kamal Abbas of the Centre for Trade Union and Workers’ Services.

“It’s difficult to say exactly how many people are striking and where. Who isn’t striking?” Abbas said.

Many trade unions are headed by people affiliated to Mubarak’s regime, leaving workers with little formal channels to air their grievances.

“In many places, workers want the removal of senior figures who are accused of corruption,” Abbas said.

The salary gaps between directors and management is a major issue, while many workers are demanding benefits and legal protection, having worked on temporary contracts for years, he said.

Nationwide protests erupted on January 25, ending Mubarak’s 30-year rule in less than three weeks. At least 300 people were killed in the demonstrations and scores more were injured or detained.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/egypt-faces-wave-strikes-20110214-061014-248.html


“We are not traitors”

Youthful leader freed from detention energizes Egyptian protests with arrival in square

By The Associated PressThe Canadian Press

CAIRO – A massive crowd of anti-government protesters poured into Cairo‘s Tahrir Square again Tuesday, joined for the first time by a young leader of the campaign the day after he was released from detention and wept through a televised interview where he declared: “We are not traitors.”

The tens of thousands standing should-to-shoulder, one of the biggest crowds so far, gave a resounding answer to the question of whether they still had the momentum to go on even though two weeks of streets fights and sit-ins have not achieved their singular goal of ousting entrenched President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for 30 years.

Many said they were inspired by Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old Google Inc. marketing manager who was a key organizer of the online campaign that sparked the first protest on Jan. 25. Straight from his release from 12 days of detention, Ghonim gave an emotionally charged television interview, sobbing at times over those who have been killed. He dubbed the protests “the revolution of the youth of the Internet.”

Fifi Shawqi, a 33-year-old upper-class housewife who came with her three daughters and her sister to the Tahrir protest for the first time, said Ghonim inspired her.

“I saw Wael yesterday (in the interview) and I cried. I felt like he is my son and all the youth here are my sons,” she said. “I think Wael brought many, many more.”

Others in the crowd said they too were joining for the first time.

Ghonim has emerged as a rallying point for protesters, who reject a group of traditional Egyptian opposition groups that have met with the government amid the most sweeping concessions the regime has made in its three decades in power.

The protesters are insisting that no concessions will do unless Mubarak steps down.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/white-house-steers-clear-predicting-mubarak-step-down-20110207-013957-771.html