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Egyptian PM shuffles cabinet amid protests

By the CNN Wire Staff
Former Egyptian Finance Minister Samir Radwan speaks in Washington on April 14, 2011.
Former Egyptian Finance Minister Samir Radwan speaks in Washington on April 14, 2011.
  • NEW: New health and transportation ministers are appointed
  • The finance and industry ministers quit
  • Hazem El-Beblawi will be Egypt's new finance minister
  • The interim government is under pressure from protesters to quicken the pace of reform
  • Egypt

Cairo (CNN) -- Egyptian Prime Minister Esam Sharaf shuffled his Cabinet Sunday, amid protests calling for the interim government to quicken the pace of reform.

Sharaf appointed Hazem El-Beblawi, a newly-named deputy prime minister, to replace outgoing Finance Minister Samir Radwan, said ministry spokesman Ibtisam Saad.

The prime minister accepted the resignation of Industry Minister Samir Al-Sayyad, according to Ahmed Saman, spokesman for Sharaf. It was not immediately clear who would replace him.

Sharaf also appointed new health and transportation ministers, Saman said. The antiquities minister submitted his resignation, which was accepted, the spokesman added.

The moves come amid an ongoing shakeup in the government, which is under pressure to speed up the pace of reform since President Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11 after protests.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohamed el-Orabi, who had been in office for less than a month, stepped down on Saturday.

Several people working within the current government have been criticized for allegedly being too close to the former leader and those who helped suppress demonstrations last winter.

Thousands of disgruntled pro-democracy activists have again descended on Cairo's Tahrir Square, setting up tents in the iconic roundabout that was the hub of the uprising.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Sharaf's caretaker cabinet have been in charge of the country since Mubarak's ouster. Egypt's military rulers have scheduled parliamentary elections for September.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen and journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this report

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