New Cabinet named in Egypt

March 7, 2011 at 1:02 AM
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CAIRO, March 7 (UPI) -- Interim Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf appointed a new caretaker Cabinet Sunday, accentuating the country's break from its past under Hosni Mubarak.

A key appointment was that of Nabil Elaraby, a former United Nations ambassador and ex-judge on the International Court of Justice, as foreign minister, The New York Times reported. The Cabinet post had been held since 2004 by Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who reportedly had referred to the Tahrir Square protesters as "thugs."

Mansour el-Essawy was named interior minister and Mohamed Abdelaziz el-Gendy will take on the duties of justice minister.

The Cabinet selections were influenced by the youth groups that spearheaded the protests that toppled Mubarak, the Times said.

"All the repulsive faces are gone from the Cabinet," said Hassan Nafaa, a political science professor at Cairo University, adding the new ministers "are not associated with corruption and do not have a bad reputation."

One holdover from the Mubarak regime is Gen. Sayyid Meshaal, who will stay on as minister of military production.

The appointment of the new governing panel came as protesters seized secret police documents this weekend after word spread that the state security police allegedly were burning and shredding incriminating documents. Plainclothes police officers dispersed hundreds of protesters and soldiers fired into the air, the Times said.

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