Newly-appointed Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri defended himself and his cabinet in a press conference Friday, describing those who reject both as “a very small minority.”
Protesters in Tahrir Square and at a sit-in outside the cabinet building oppose the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' (SCAF) appointment of Ganzouri, who served as prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak.
Ganzouri said that he took the side of the Egyptian people many times during his previous tenure as prime minister, even to the point of angering Mubarak. He also pointed out that he spearheaded many projects against the wishes of many in the Mubarak regime.
“A very small minority opposes my premiership, but many citizens want me to carry out this patriotic task,” Ganzouri said.
Ganzouri stressed that he will seek to meet Egyptians' needs during the remainder of the transitional period, calling on people to stand together and cooperate with him.
“I outstretch my hands to everyone for the benefit of the homeland,” he said.
Ganzouri, 77, previously served as prime minister from 4 January 1996 to 5 October 1999.
Protesters continued their sit-in outside the cabinet Friday for the 16th consecutive day, aiming to prevent the new ministers from entering the building and performing their duties. The protesters said the Ganzouri cabinet does not represent the goals of the revolution.
Activists with the same demands also continued a Tahrir Square sit-in for the 21st consecutive day.
Sheikh Mohamed Farahat, who delivered the Friday morning sermon in Tahrir, told protesters to be patient and continue their sit-in.
"The minority sometimes represents the truth, while the majority represents the wrong," said Farahat, directing criticism at the SCAF and expressing solidarity with the small number of protesters in Tahrir and outside the cabinet.
Farahat described members of the SCAF as "failing managers," and said he considers the appointment of the Ganzouri cabinet a step back in the direction of the Mubarak regime.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm