Egypt PM announces to reshuffle cabinet

Cairo: Facing immense pressure from protesters over the slow pace of reform, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has announced a government reshuffle within one week.

Addressing the nation on Monday, Mr. Sharaf promised some major changes including a cabinet reshuffle by next Monday, a restructure of the Ministry of the Interior by mid-July and change in leading figures of the state-owned media.

He also promised to proceed with “open trials for all former regime officials and those accused of killing protesters.”

The announcements were meant to please demonstrators, angered at the slow pace of reform since President Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11.

Egyptian people took to streets on Friday to call for speedy trials for officers accused of shooting protesters as well as figures of the former regime.

Monday’s speech by Mr. Sharaf was his second in recent days.

Despite the announcement, protesters decided to continue their sit-in at Tahrir square in Cairo and other major cities of the country.

The speech was not well received by the public or the protesters as it was likened to speeches of the ousted president.

The protesters said they would no longer react to words or promises but continue their sit-in until their demands are actualised including banning court martial for civilians.

The military-led government that took over when Mubarak resigned has been prosecuting several former officials accused of ordering security forces to fire on protesters.

A police officer accused of killing 20 protesters during a January 28 demonstration has been sentenced to death and Mubarak himself is scheduled to face the Cairo Criminal Court on August 3 on charges of corruption and deaths of protesters, officials have said.