Essam Sharaf, the New Prime Minister
The timing of Sahfiq's resignation, or sacking, is very well chosen because the next million march is in 24 hours which means there's not enough time to do the following before the march:
- We won't know the news ministers of Sharaf's cabinet, and so we won't know if bringing him is just a bribe and a way to have some people on their side or he'll really bring a technocrat cabinet that everyone will agree on.
- We won't have enough time to plan the next step; the million or more who were planning to protest tomorrow might not want to do so anymore. There not enough time to tell them why they should. But since I mentioned this, please remember that this is only one demand. Many of our demands haven't yet been met and we don't even know if they plan to meet them.
- We won't have enough time to know Essam Sharaf really well, because knowing that he was part of the regime someday, we have to try to know how he thinks right now as much as we can. So here's all the information I was able to get about him:
Essam Sharaf completed his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Cairo University in 1975. That makes around 58 years old, not bad I guess. He has a MSCE and PhD from Purdue University, a very respectable school in the U.S.A. He has around 140 research papers, took many awards and honors and is now a professor of highway engineering in Cairo University, he's the definition of technocrat.
He was minister of Transport in Nazif's cabinet for one year and resigned after the Qalyoob train accident. He said he did because none of the plans of development he proposed were accepted, even though they were really good, and so he understood that the government doesn't want to do any development. Since then he became somewhat against the government. He also was head of a caretaker committee of the engineering syndicate and said, that he will resign if they don't plan to have a free elections in the syndicate without any interference from any side. That's after they won the case for the third time, but the government never did anything.
This interview has given me the impression that the guy is good and might have good plans for this transitional period. What I think would be a very good idea though, is that he puts a vice prime minister who's a political science professor or something. Someone like Amr Hamzawy would do. I'm saying this because the guy seems good and everything, but might need someone who knows more politics on his side to help him.
Eye witnesses have also said that they saw him in demonstration on the 8th of February, which proves he's against the regime. Although I don't think this is enough proof that he is against the regime, remember Mostafa El Feqy? But I think the fact that he resigned from Nazif's cabinet is enough proof that he's somewhat good, or better than the rest of the regime. Of course, we won't be able to judge if he's good or bad except after we see his cabinet, but I'm feeling very optimistic about this step. There is also news that he will say his pledge to the people in Tahrir tomorrow as a sign that he's on our side. That would be nice, but of course the only thing that will prove that he's on our side is his cabinet
There's still so much to read about this man and so much that we'll have to wait and see. But whatever might happen, we should still go to Tahrir tomorrow to bring the rest of our demands, and to show them that we can't be fooled. To let them know that if they're trying to bribe us by a good prime minister and an NDP cabinet then this will never be accepted. Be Tahrir tomorrow, and please don't chant against this man until we see what his plans are. Let's focus on the rest of our demands tomorrow.