Egypt replaces several Mubarak-era ministers

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Cairo, Feb 22 (AP) Egypt''s military rulers swore in anew Cabinet today that includes 11 new ministers in a nod tothe opposition movement that ousted longtime leader HosniMubarak but keeps three former members of the regime in keyposts.

The move comes as the military leadership that isoverseeing the country''s transition works to assure theanti-Mubarak movement, that led mass protests, it is committedto democratic reforms.

However, the decision to keep Prime Minister AhmedShafiq, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and JusticeMinister Mamdouh Marie, three Mubarak''s loyalists, in theirpost are likely to draw criticism from the youth activists andothers who launched the uprising on Jan 25.

The coalition government included independents andmembers of opposition parties for the first time in decades,pushing out the longtime ministers of oil, social justice andlabor.

The new Cabinet also included two Coptic Christians,including an ex-lawmaker.

Among the new names were Monier Fakhri Abdel Nour, aCoptic member of the Wafd opposition party as minister oftourism, filling a position that has been vacant since ZuhairGarana was jailed on corruption charges.

Top leftist Tagammu party member Gouda Abdel Khaleqalso was named minister of social justice.

Warning of new mass protests, the young activists wholed the movement have pressed the military council to form abroad-based government that excludes Mubarak''s cronies,release political prisoners and abolish laws on politicalparties and allow free and fair election.

The military council already has dissolved parliament,which was stacked with Mubarak''s National Democratic party,and suspended the constitution. (AP)

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