Egypt’s New Government Expected To Be Tougher

On Sunday, Egypt received its second new government in less than six weeks, including a new foreign minister who is expected to be tougher with Israel than the government of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak was.

Essam Sharaf, the newly appointed prime minister, disclosed his new cabinet while tensions heightened between pro-democracy protesters and the army in downtown Cairo.

Troops fired live ammunition to scatter civilians armed with knives/sticks, and stopped demonstrators who wanted to enter a key security building.

Sharaf was named Thursday as part of an effort by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military council now in charge of Egypt, to satisfy the country’s impatient democracy activists and their demands to remove Mubarak era faces. The previous cabinet was named by Mubarak in late January in a desperate attempt to curtail the uprising calling for his resignation.

“We need to give the new government a chance,” Mahmoud Salem, blogger and activist present at the scene but left when the armed civilians appeared. “Some people are bitter and angry, and it could lead to hostility later. Ordinary people want things to move on.”