Sharaf apologizes for government failure

Former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf apologized on Saturday for the performance of his government.

On his Facebook page, Sharaf addressed those who feel that the cabinet’s performance did not meet expectations. “The circumstances I was working under were more difficult than anticipated,” he wrote.

He also said he hopes to remain involved in Egyptian politics during the transitional period and in the future.

Sharaf submitted his resignation to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in November following clashes between protesters and security forces around Tahrir Square, which left 45 killed and thousands injured.

When Sharaf was appointed in March, he was welcomed by protesters in the square who had been demanding the resignation of Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister appointed by toppled President Hosni Mubarak.  Afterwards, however, Sharaf's cabinet was frequently criticized for not having enough power and accused of being controlled by the SCAF. His cabinet faced several obstacles, including a perceived security failure and the deteriorating economic situation.

Political and economic analysts say that Sharaf’s government used the same strategies as the former regime to deal with crisis situations. However, these experts say that the cabinet was limited by restrictions imposed by the SCAF, as well as the inclusion of ministers who served under Mubarak’s regime.

The Sharaf government’s stance on the supra-constitutional principles played a large role in bringing it down, as many worried that the document was designed to protect the military and allow the SCAF to remain in power. Anger over the supra-constitutional document motivated a large protest led by Islamist groups on 18 November.

The SCAF appointed Kamal al-Ganzouri to succeed Sharaf as prime minister. Ganzouri also served as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 under Mubarak. After his appointment, the SCAF delegated "presidential powers" to Ganzouri in an attempt to curtail criticism that the military council exercises too much power over the cabinet.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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