Egypt's interim cabinet offered to resign on the night of Monday 21 November. The move followed three days of violent clashes in Cairo and other cities between the security forces and protesters, which resulted in at least 33 deaths and 1,800 wounded.

The protesters had been seeking the swift transfer of power from the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to a civilian government and the implementation of reforms promised by the generals after Hosni Mubarak was removed from power in February.

There are conflicting reports about whether the resignation had been accepted by the generals, all of whom are stalwarts of the former Mubarak regime. Mohammed Hegazy, the cabinet spokesman, said that the government of prime minister Essam sharaf had tendered its resignation to SCAF but had offered to continue working until its offer was accepted.

Some commentators believe that the resignation could be an attempt by the cabinet to save its reputation or that the SCAF wants to appease protesters in order to buy time before it plans its next move.

The demonstration in Tahrir Square began when Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the conservative Salafists, demonstrated on Friday 18 November against the political interference of the SCAF but the protest was soon taken over by youth activists such as the April 6th movement.

The violence, the worst of its kind since the time of the uprising last February, interrupted campaigning for the upcoming parliamentary elections on 28 November, and a number of a number of candidates have withdrawn from the race.