Egypt: Protesters Reject New Prime Minister

November 25, 2011  

More than 100,000 people packed into Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday for their biggest demonstration since the current round of protests began.

The Associated Press reported that activists were accusing Egypt’s ruling military of trying to extend the old guard and demanding they step down immediately after failing to stabilize the country, salvage the economy or bring democracy following the revolution earlier this year which resulted in the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

The large protest came one day after the military announced that Kamal al-Ganzouri will form the country’s new cabinet.

Ganzouri previously served as Egypt’s prime minister between 1996 and 1999, during the Mubarak regime, and was deputy prime minister and planning minister before that. He was also a provincial governor under Mubarak’s predecessor, the late President Anwar Sadat.

In a televised statement on Friday, Ganzouri said the military has given him greater powers than his predecessor and he wouldn’t have accepted the job if he believed military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi had any intention of staying in power.

“The powers given to me exceed any similar mandates,” AP quoted him as having said. “I will take full authority so I’m able to serve my country.”

Ganzouri also said he won’t be able to form a government before parliamentary elections start on Monday.

The choice of Ganzouri, however, only deepened the anger of the protesters who are already seething over the military’s perceived reluctance to dismantle the legacy of Mubarak’s rule.

The protesters shouted, “Illegitimate, illegitimate!” upon hearing the news of Ganzouri’s appointment.

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