As Ganzouri tries to form a cabinet, Tahrir is betting on ElBaradei

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri began consultations on Saturday at the National Planning Institute in order to form a new government, reported state news agency MENA.

MENA’s source said that Ganzouri received several young activists to discuss their nominees for the new government. The names suggested by the activists, MENA said, included Refaat Qomsan — currently responsible for the elections dossier — for the Interior Ministry, political activist Gamal Zahran for higher education, and former ambassador to Washington Nabil Fahmy for the foreign ministry.

After the meeting Ganzouri said that the new cabinet will be sworn in within three days, Egyptian state TV said

MENA reported that only two or three ministers from the former government are likely to be reappointed. The sources told MENA that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) gave Ganzouri full powers to choose his government and asked for only three ministers to remain, if Ganzouri agrees.

On Thursday the SCAF chose the former prime minister, who is 78 years old, to form the new government, a choice that infuriated protesters in Tahrir.

Protestors said that Ganzouri is too old and is linked to the former regime of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.

They criticized SCAF for not listening to their demands to form a real national salvation government to administer the transitional period and called for a million-man march on Sunday to reject Ganzouri’s appointment.

In an interview published in London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on Saturday, Ganzouri said the sit-in in Tahrir is likely to hamper his work as well as the work of others since it has an impact on stability. He asked that the new government to be given two months to carry out their jobs.

He said the priorities of his new government will be security and restoring stability to the street and the economy.

He added that he will not go to his office at the cabinet headquarters until he is sworn in. Former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf is still in charge of affairs until the new government is formed, he added.

Meanwhile, presidential hopeful Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh said on Saturday that he is continuously consulting with other presidential hopefuls about forming a national salvation government.

Abouel Fotouh wrote on Twitter that he supports demands for the formation of a national salvation government with full authority and full support from a wide political spectrum.

On Friday night, a number of revolutionary forces in Tahrir reached an agreement on forming a national salvation government headed by the presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei.

At a press conference in the square, prominent public intellectual Alaa al-Aswany said that ElBaradei is the best choice to ease the current crisis, adding that the square agreed on having two deputy prime minsters: Hossam Eissa, the nationalist political activist and, Abu Alela Mady, chairman of Wasat Party.

The conference was attended by various political activists and public figures, including Abdel Galeel Moustafa of the National Association for Change.

Media sources reported that Islamists who are present in Tahrir Square rejected the idea of an ElBaradei-led government.

On Friday, ElBaradei was in the square and said that SCAF did not ask him to form a national salvation government. On Saturday, he had a 10-minute meeting with Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, head of the SCAF.

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