SCAF name new PM
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) have named a new prime minister after the previous government resigned earlier this week.
The new prime minister is Kamal Ganzouri, the 78 year old former prime minister of Egypt from 1996 to 1999 under the then President Hosni Mubarak.
Herein lies the problem and the reason why, if anything, numbers have swelled in Tahrir Square yesterday and today. The protesters want SCAF to stand down, for Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the interim acting President to resign and for a purely civilian government to be formed. The appointment of a former Mubarak regime politician as prime minister, despite his personal popularity, is not acceptable to the Tahrir crowds.
The Tahrir crowds also want the general election, due to start on Monday, to be postponed. Not everyone agrees. The Muslim Brotherhood have not supported the most recent uprising, not because they don’t agree but because they want the elections to go ahead. Their party, the Freedom and Justice Party is by far the front runner in opinion polls for the election with around 35% of the vote. The next closest party New Wafd Party, a centre right secular party is on 26.2% of the vote with all other parties polling in single digits.
The SCAF has said that the elections will go ahead as scheduled and earlier this week they made a major concession by saying presidential elections will happen by June next year. Prime Minister designate has said that he will not name his new government before the polls on Monday and has asked the Egyptian people for time.
Meanwhile, not everyone is happy with the Tahrir Square protests. Around 10,000 people assembled in another square in Cairo yesterday, the Abbasiya Square, to show their support for the military and the elections.