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Egypt PM resigns, but protesters vow to stay in Tahrir Square

The resignation of Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq – seen as too close to ousted President Hosni Mubarak – demonstrates the clout the protesters wield as they push for real change.

In this Feb.13 file photo, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq spoke during a press conference in Cairo. Egypt's military rulers have announced Shafiq's resignation.

Amr Nabil/AP/File

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Updated at 12:17 p.m.

Supporters of Egypt's revolution logged another victory Thursday with the resignation of Ahmed Shafiq, the prime minister appointed by former President Hosni Mubarak just before he was toppled by a popular uprising last month.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which is ruling the country until new elections are held, announced on its Facebook page Thursday it had accepted Mr. Shafiq’s resignation and appointed former transportation minister Essam Sharaf to form a new government in his place.

Shafiq’s ouster demonstrates that the armed forces are eager to maintain stability and recognize that keeping Mubarak associates in office would have the opposite effect. It is another manifestation of Egyptians' newly discovered people power as they take to the streets to demand far-reaching change beyond the ouster of Mubarak.

But while protesters welcomed Shafiq's departure, many were skeptical about his low-profile replacement and vowed to keep up the pressure on the government.

“It’s good news, but it’s not enough,” says Layla Maged, a protester in Tahrir Square taking refuge from the hot sun in a large tent she shares with several friends. A tarp covered the floor and she sat on a blanket. A tent next door proclaimed itself the Revolution Villa.

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