Egyptian PM resigns

Ahmed Shafiq, Eqypt’s Prime Minister and close ally of former president Hosni Mubarak, resigned today just ahead of planned demonstrations to be held on Friday. Boston University international relations professor Augustus Richard Norton, a Middle East specialist and author of  “Hezbollah: A Short History”, offers the following analysis:

“The resignation of General Ahmed Shafiq as prime minister does not come as a surprise. He was appointed in Mubarak’s last tenuous days in power, and it was quite obvious that so long as he remained in place he would be constant provocation to the mobilized opposition.

“While this necessary step is welcome, it would be far more important to see a lifting of the emergency decree that has for three decades provided a rationale for arbitrary arrests, political repression, and a license for political malfeasance and corruption cloaked in security.

“Notwithstanding the inspiring ‘revolution’ in Egypt, a revolution has not occurred. The military remains in power, as it has been for decades, and it has until now only made concessions at the margins of its power and privilege. As many Eqyptians are now coming to understand, their revolution actually remains to be realized.”

Contact Augustus Richard Norton, 617-353-7808,, Twitter: @arnorton