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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mohamed Morsy names new Prime Minister, asks him to form the government

Hisham Kandeel, Egypt's new Prime Minister

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi appointed on Tuesday as a new Prime Minister Hisham Kandeel, the young independent, US-educated minister and asked him to form the new government.

This appointment was quite surprising for many, as Hisham Kandeel is a young minister of irrigation, little known outside the country, and this choice disappointed investors who hoped Egypt’s new Prime Minister will be economist, which is very important for the country at the current stage.

After Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as Egypt’s President he promised that the new Prime Minister will be not from Muslim Brotherhood to lead a unity government that will include other political factions. Hisham Kandeel is not a member of Muslim Brotherhood and does not have any affiliations with Islamists political groups. He is believed to be religious on a personal level only. According to Yasser Ali, Morsi’s official spokesperson, the appointment of a patriotic, independent figure was studied and discussed.

Hisham Kandeel was not in the lists of potential candidates for the Prime Minister’s post which were circulating in Egyptian press, so this decision was a surprise for many.
Hisham Kandeel, 50, was a minister of irrigation and water resources in the previous El-Ganzoury’s cabinet appointed by SCAF.
Mohamed Morsy and Hisham Kandeel
Hisham Kandeel was born in 1962. He was studying engineering in Cairo University and received BA there in 1984, and then he continued his study in USA and in 1988 he earned the master degree from Utah State University and a doctorate of irrigation from North Carolina University in 1993. He served as Director of the Office of Irrigation from 1999 to 2005, and then worked at African Development Bank, focusing on Nile Basin countries. He took part in the talks and participated in observer mission for Egypt in negotiations with Sudan on Nile River water issues. In July 2011 Hisham Kandeel was appointed as a Minister of irrigation and water resources by Essam Sharaf, who was then the head of Egypt’s Cabinet. Later he was asked by Kamal El-Ganzoury to continue serving on this post in the SCAF appointed government.

In his short statement today the newly appointed Prime Minister Hisham Kandeel said that the patience is required now and it is important to unite in the face of serious challenges. But the powers of the new Prime Minister are still unclear, as SCAF which took power after Hosni Mubarak’s resignation has still the final say over the governing in Egypt. Hisham Kandeel as a new PM has to consult with president before forming the new Cabinet. SCAF already stated that the Defense Minister will be appointed by them, not by the civil government.