Egypt cabinet to stay for transition period

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The Independent Online

Egypt's cabinet, appointed when Hosni Mubarak was still in office, will not undergo a major reshuffle and will stay to oversee a political transformation in the coming months, the cabinet spokesman said on Sunday.

Protesters said they wanted a clear timetable from the military officers now running the country on how long the transitional period would be.

"The shape of the government will stay until the process of transformation is done in a few months, then a new government will be appointed based on the democratic principles in place," the spokesman told Reuters, adding that it was possible some portfolios could change hands in that period.

"The main task of this government is to restore security and order and also start the economic process, and to take care of day-to-day life," he said.

Abdullah Helmy, one of the leaders of a newly formed Revolution Youth Union, said what mattered is what the military said about the period of transformation.

"We have to have clarity from the military on the time frame and these comments coming from the government only provoke people and it puts them in confrontation with the army. We are trying to calm things down but they keep provoking us," he said.

Other protesters echoed those sentiments.