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Embattled Egyptian president announces new cabinet

by Jorge Hernandez on January 31, 2011

After a week of violent protests in Cairo, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, the country's longtime president, announced his new cabinet Monday, replacing the one he dissolved earlier last week in an effort to quell widespread unrest throughout the nation. Despite the changes, the move is not likely to satiate the tens of thousands of protesters who are calling for Mubarak to be removed from power, The Associated Press reports.

The announcement was made on state television, and aside from several exceptions, few members of the former cabinet remain. Mubarak is attempting to distance himself from the policies of his son, Gamal, who many blame for the growing economic woes of Egypt as well as the widening gap between the nation's rich and poor.

Among the largest changes Mubarak made was replacing Habib el-Adly, his former interior minister. El-Aldy was widely hated for his violent crowd control tactics during the protests. He was succeeded by Mahmoud Wagdi, a former police general, but as many protesters indicated, they want to see the entire government replaced.

"We don't recognize any decisions Mubarak has taken since January 25," protester Mostafa el-Naggar told the news source. "This is a failed attempt – he is done with."

The protests are expected to take a significant step forward in the coming days. Up until know, they have largely been contained to Cairo's Tahrir Square, the nation's capital, but according to the Los Angeles Times, organizers called for a growth in the protest over the weekend, and hope to flood the streets with more than one million people.

The demonstrations began on January 25 in the wake of the government overthrow in the neighboring country of Tunisia, and mark a strong desire by the mostly young protesters for a shift to democracy. The Mubarak government has ratcheted up the stakes by shutting down access to the internet, television and cell phone traffic, and by using increasingly violent tactics that have left at least 136 people dead.  

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