By Samuel Burke, CNN
Massive and violent protests often make today’s Egypt looks little different than it did during the demonstrations that brought down Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
“We are paying the price of Mubarak’s era,” Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. “Our democracy is going through a test: How the majority can accommodate the needs and concerns of the minority, and how the minority can listen to the majority and respect the majority’s opinion.”
The head of the Egyptian armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, sparked fears last week when he said the current political crisis could lead to the collapse of the state.
In spite of al-Sisi’s comments and the mayhem in many Egyptian cities, Kandil rejected the notion that the government is unstable or that the army would assert itself back into daily affairs.
“The Egyptian army has played a pivotal war in protecting the Egyptian revolution,” Kandil insisted, pointing to the fact the military respected the handover of power from the Mubarak regime to democratically-elected Mohamed Morsy.
Egyptian youth make up a significant portion of the protestors now on the streets. Kandil admitted that it is a major problem that Egypt’s young people have not found their place in society, and do not feel represented in the current state of affairs. He said the government must work on building bridges to the unaffiliated youth through “constructive acts,” but did not offer specifics.
Kandil said what the government needs most now is time – to create new institutions and strengthen the trust between the people and state.
“Everyone is new in this democracy thing,” he said.