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Egyptian Prime Minister Hospitalized
July 19, 2011

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The medical and political difficulties continue in Egypt, as Prime Minister Essam Sharaf entered a hospital in Cairo and ended up being diagnosed with blood pressure problems.

Sharaf, who hasn't been prime minister for all that long, underwent a battery of medical tests, which found no lasting problems, and then left the hospital. He has planned a shakeup of the current cabinet, in order to satisfy concerns voiced by the increasingly resurgent crowds who have returned to Tahrir Square.

Enthusiastic, organized, and vocal, the crowds met with initial success when former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down after 30 years as ruler of the country. The resignation of Mubarak, who is due in court on August 3, triggered a series of departures and subsequent trials of former leaders by the succeeding Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

However, protesters have grown impatient with what they see as the slow pace of reform and have returned to the streets to make their concerns known.

The ruling military council, led by Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, has announced that preparations for the long-planned parliamentary elections will begin on September 18 but might take two months.

Meanwhile, Mubarak, who was was recently diagnosed with cancer, is still in a hospital in the resort town Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been for several weeks. Conflicting reports of Mubarak's falling into a coma could not be verified.



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