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Mubarak swears in deputy; protesters demand his resignation

Arab World Materials 29 January 2011 20:29
Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak on Saturday appointed intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his deputy and former civil aviation minister Ahmed Shafik as prime minister.
Mubarak swears in deputy; protesters demand his resignation

Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak on Saturday appointed intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his deputy and former civil aviation minister Ahmed Shafik as prime minister.

The two are confidantes of the embattled Mubarak, who is facing intense pressure to step down. The appointments came as tens of thousands of angry protesters defied a government-imposed curfew in cities across the country.

Mubarak has not had a deputy since he took office nearly three decades ago. Suleiman is now seen as a possible successor to the 82- year-old leader.

Earlier Saturday, the cabinet formally resigned, heeding a call by Mubarak the previous day, dpa reported.

Mubarak on Friday rejected calls for him to step down, saying he would name a new cabinet.

Anti-government protests in capital Cairo and other cities entered a fifth day Saturday, with protesters demanding that Mubarak and specific ministers resign.

Media reports Saturday put the number of people killed in nationwide clashes between protesters and police at 100 since the start of the week.

Leading opposition figure and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who has been placed under house arrest in Cairo, in an interview with al-Jazeera called on Mubarak to step down.

Mubarak's decision to appoint a new cabinet is not enough, according a leading member of the banned opposition Muslim Brotherhood.

"What Mubarak said was a change of topic and did not respond to the calls of the people," Mohamed el-Beltagui, a Brotherhood member of parliament, told the German Press Agency dpa Saturday.

"We have called for real democracy and real civil rights, but none of this was responded to in his speech. He did not lay out a plan to respond to this," said el-Beltagui.

The Muslim Brotherhood reported that at least two of its members were killed in clashes on Friday.

"The government has to change and the president has to change. It is not enough to change the cabinet. Thirty years! Mubarak should be the first to go. We don't want him," protester Essam Fadl told dpa.

Mohamed, a student protesting in central Cairo's Tahrir Square, said, "He will just bring in more greedy and hungry people to eat again."

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