By Safaa Abdoun
CAIRO: The resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq was welcomed by the opposition in Egypt, who were planning to stage a sit-in starting this Friday in Tahrir Square indefinitely until he stepped down.
“Shafiq’s resignation is a step in the right direction, especially since Essam Sharaf replaced him and we are expecting a new cabinet that does not include any figures from the ousted regime and one that represents the ambitions of the Jan. 25 Revolution,” said Mohamed El-Beltagy, member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We were planning on a demonstration that would go on until Shafiq stepped down and wouldn’t be limited to Tahrir Square only but other places around the country, however with [this resignation] we will limit Friday’s demonstration to a few hours and will only be in Tahrir Square,” he explained.
“We will be showing our appreciation of the efforts to answer our demands and emphasize our remaining ones such as dismantling State Security and dissolving the local councils,” El-Beltagy noted.
In a statement released by the January 25 Coalition, which includes representatives of youth movements and other political parties, they announced that Friday will be the “‘Celebration of Shafiq’s Resignation Day’ as it’s another victory of the revolution and we are inviting the new Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to join us in Tahrir Sqaure,” Khaled El Sayed, from the Youth for Justice and Freedom and a member of the Coalition, told Daily News Egypt.
In their statement, the Coalition outlined their remaining demands, which are in line with those of the entire opposition front, including dismantling State Security and restructuring the Ministry of Interior and appointing a civil minister and try those responsible for the violence which took place in the demonstrations and the corruption.
Karima El-Hifnawy, senior official at the Kifaya Movement, pointed out that Fridays at Tahrir are fixed, “We believe Friday is a general assembly in order to follow up on the demands of the revolution and the protection of what the revolution has accomplished so of course we are going to Tahrir Square [on Friday].”
“We applaud the Armed Forces for fulfilling the demands of the revolution, however this is not all that we are asking for, there are other things to be done,” she added.
El-Hefnawy pointed out the remaining demands include canceling the emergency law, releasing all political detainees and dismantling State Security.
“With Shafiq stepping down, the objective of this Friday’s million march, which was planned to be another open demonstration, has been met, however activists with different political affiliations are still planning on going but with different objectives in mind,” said El-Hefnawy.