26 Nov 2011

Crowds swell in Cairo protest after new PM named

5:17 pm on 26 November 2011

Tens of thousands of Egyptians demanding an end to military rule have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

The turnout is the biggest yet in a week of demonstrations in which 41 people have been killed.

The demonstration is being held despite the ruling army council naming former prime minister Kamal Ganzouri as the man to head a national salvation government.

Protesters accuse the military leaders of clinging to power and refusing to consent to a civilian government.

As the protesters gathered, Mr Ganzoury addressed the nation for the first time, saying he would form an all-inclusive cabinet to serve the people of Egypt.

However, he says he will not announce its make-up until after parliamentary elections that are due to be held on Monday.

The BBC reports that an informal truce with security forces seems to be holding and a carnival atmosphere returned to the demonstrations on Friday.

The United States has called on the generals leading Egypt to step aside and give real power to the new cabinet immediately.

Mr Ganzouri says the powers he has been given are stronger than those given to previous prime ministers, but gave no details.

The 78-year-old served as prime minister under former president Hosni Mubarak from 1996 to 1999.

He was appointed after the existing cabinet resigned this week amid the protests.