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Egypt: Revolutionaries Shrug at Cabinet Resignation

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

The Cabinet of Dr Essam Sharaf has just asked if it could resign and the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) is yet to decide whether it would accept their resignation or not. For activists and protesters battling police and the army for the third day in and around Tahrir Square, the news does not bring anything new to the table. Their main demand is for SCAF to leave power and hand over authority to a civil government.

In February, SCAF took over after Hosni Mubarak was ousted after Egyptians demonstrated for 18 days. Since then, Egyptians complain that the new military rulers have worked against the revolution and its goals. Chief among the protesters’ cries is the resignation of Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, SCAF's commander-in-chief.

Mona Eltahawy tweeted earlier today:

@monaeltahawy: During #Jan25, army watched as police shot protesters. Now army shooting alongside police. Clear whose side #SCAF is on #Tahrir

This sentiment is clear from the way Tahrir received news of the Cabinet's pending resignation. Mohammed Effat tweets from Tahrir:

@3effat: someone just spread the news of the Cabinet's resignation, people didn't even pay attention to him #Tahrir

and adds:

@3effat: protester said: “its Tantawy and SCAF the problem not the fuckin cabinet” #Tahrir

Over the past few minutes, conflicting news continued to flow on both news and social media outlets.

UAE commentator Sultan Al Qassemi tweets that SCAF has just accepted the cabinet's resignation:

@sultanalqassemi: Breaking Al Jazeera: SCAF accepts Egyptian government resignation

Soon, journalist Hind Hassan reports:


@hindhassan
: So Egyptian State TV says cabinet resignation has NOT been accepted by #SCAF despite earlier reports to the contrary. #EGYPT

On Twitter, netizens react to the news.

Journalist Blake Hounshell reminds us:

@blakehounshell: The cowardly and toothless Egyptian cabinet has offered to resign: last time this happened they stayed in their posts.

The ploy is not lost on Mohamed El Dahshan. He writes [ar]:

تذكير: تقديم شرف أو العيسوي كبش فداء لا يكفي. المشير و المجلس لازم يرحلوا!
@TravellerW: Reminder: Offering Shareef or El Essawi as sacrificial lambs is not enough. The Marshall and the Council [SCAF] should leave!

Political commentator Shadi Hamid wonders whether the parliamentary elections, slated to begin on November 28, will be effected. He notes:

@shadihamid: Hope this chain doesn't happen, but it might: PM resigns, new govt appointed, elections delayed. #Egypt

The Arabist adds:

@arabist: The resignation of Egypt's cabinet can only quell unrest if the one that replaces it has credibility.

And Egyptian Amira Salah-Ahmed concludes:

@Amiralx: If resignation is rejected and ministers go back to work then they're weak and complicit in violence. Pack ur shit and get out of office!

Meanwhile, the action continues in downtown Cairo, around Tahrir – as well as in other provinces across Egypt.

Jon Jensen just reports:

@jonjensen: Police firing heavily at crowd on Mohamed Mahmoud. Can hear the shotguns pellets ricocheting off buildings and barricades. #Egypt #Tahrir

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

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