Egypt: A TV Show that Ended a Prime Minister's Career

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Ahmed Shafik, the Egyptian prime minister who was appointed by former president Hosni Mubarak, was forced to resign today after his appearance in a TV show late Wednesday night (March 2). This episode of the show was described by Zeinobia as a historical one.

I will not say a unforgettable night in the Egyptian TV history because this has never been seen before in the Arab world since the start of TV broadcasting in Iraq.

Last night “ON TV” made a TV history when it hosted the first real political debate between a prime minister and opposition figures in Egypt. This episode started from 10 PM and ended at 2 AM Cairo local time.
Down With Shafik's Government
A bumper sticker that says: Down with Ahmed Shafik's government.

Photo posted by @mernathomas

During the second part of the show, Shafik was accompanied by two Egyptian writers and journalists, Alaa Al-Aswany and Hamdi Kandeel, the channel's owner Naguib Sawiris, as well as the hosts of the show, Yosri Fouda and Reem Maged. Aswany and Kandeel had a heated discussion with Shafik and criticized him a lot.

@Sarah_Akl: The debate turned nasty.

Even during the advertisement breaks, some people expected them to kill each other.

@luelabie: They gonna kill each other behind the scenes now.

The most important thing about the episode, is that according to the viewers, it revealed a lot about Shafik.

@Phi251: الخلاصه .. انه رئيس وزراء لا يملك اى معلومات عن اهم الموضوعات التى يسأل عنها الشارع .. اذن لا يستحق ان يبقى بمنصبه
@Phi251: Bottom line, he is a prime minister who doesn't know any answers to the basic questions asked by the people in the street. Thus, he doesn't deserve to stay in his position.
@ahmedBedeir: رئيس الوزراء حتي الان وبعد 30 يوم لا يعلم من هو مدبر احداث الاربعاء الدامي!؟ اذن من يعلم!؟ عليه ان يستقيل الان
@ahmedBedeir: The prime minister, 30 days after the bloody Wednesday attacks, and he still doesn't know who is behind those attacks! Who should know then? He has to resign now.
@rania_hafez: Bottom line Shafik has very limited power in the government.

Aswany was criticized by many users on Twitter to be rude. However, this didn't stop them from criticizing Shafik even more.

@NoorNoor1: I'd much rather hear someone be rude than hear someone lie and deceive. Lay off of Aswany.
@rania_hafez: Alaa El Aswany lost a lot…. Shafik had nothing to lose.

Right after the show ended, it was obvious to some people on Twitter that Shafik was on his way to be dismissed from his position.

@Yasser__Abbas: I think this show will go in history as “the show hosting Alaa Aswany taking on the EX-PM two nights before his resignation!

It is worth mentioning that there has been ongoing protests asking for Shafik's resignation since the day Mubarak stepped down on February 11, yet the show seemed to be the last nail in his political coffin.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.


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