Last week, then-Prme Minister Ahmed Sharfiq was invited by the Egyptian OTV channel to be a panel guest along with the channel’s owner and Egypt’s richest man. It was the first ever debated format in Egypt’s TV history. In a move worthy of reality TV, Mr. Shafiq became angry and undone when clashing with the guest panel over a host of questions, one of which was the future of Tahair Square and the people killed there. Things became especially heated when Shafiq was pressed about the investigations of the murdered demonstrators and the fact that no military officers have been singled out and put on trial. Mr. Shafiq, not experienced in having to explain himself, was at the end of his rope and blurted out;
“Don’t put on that patriotism act. I’m more of a patriot than you are. I fought in the war and I killed and got killed, and I did everything.”
Unable to defend his rationale for being prime minister, he resigned a day later under pressure from the country’s military leadership. His successor Essam Sharaf, an engineer educated at Purdue University in the U. S., explained to the crowd in Tahair Square the next day; “I get my legitimacy from you the people.” The military has set March 19th for a national referendum on constitutional changes and term limits.