Egypt's first post-Mubarak era cabinet sworn in

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Egypt's first post-Mubarak era cabinet sworn in

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Egypt’s new government has been sworn in, purged of several figures from the Mubarak era.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has pledged to meet protesters’ demands for democratic change.

The new team took the oath in Cairo overseen by the head of the army council which is temporarily running the country. A referendum on constitutional reform will take place this month ahead of elections later this year. Some key posts look like a break with the past.

The prime minister resigned from Mubarak’s government long ago and actively supported the uprising.

The new foreign minister, who helped negotiate Egypt’s peace deal with Israel in the 1970s, was on a list of names proposed by pro-democracy movements.

The new interior minister is a former Cairo security chief. The papers have highlighted his promise to reduce the role of the state security agency. Protesters want it broken up altogether.

Euronews’s correspondent said: “many Egyptians support the new government, although its immediate challenge will be to stabilise the country without losing the confidence of the people, especially the pro-democracy movement.”

It is not going to be easy. On Sunday men in plain clothes attacked demonstrators who were demanding reform of the security services. An example of how, after the euphoria of the uprising and Mubarak’s removal, some old forces still remain.