Cairo, March 3 (DPA) Egyptian premier Ahmed Shafiq has resigned, the country’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced on its Facebook page Thursday.
The announcement came hours ahead of the start of a planned mass sit-in by activists in Cairo’s Tahrir square to demand the departure of Shafiq and his cabinet.
Essam Sharaf, a former minister of transportation, has been appointed to create a new government, the announcement said.
The armed forces has been in charge of the country since then president Hosni Mubarak resigned Feb 11, after 18 days of nationwide protests.
Strikes and protests have continued since his departure, despite the military’s appeals to the public to refrain from demonstrations.
Calls for the departure of Shafiq’s cabinet have escalated over the past week.
Many opposition activists maintained that he and other ministers were close associates of Mubarak’s, and were responsible for some of the violence used to crack down on protests.
Shafiq, a former minister of civil aviation, was appointed premier by Mubarak in a cabinet reshuffle in an attempt to appease protesters.