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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Egypt’s newly formed and appointed Cabinet of Ministers

Ibrahim Mehleb, Egypt's newly appointed Prime
(Image: The Daily News Egypt)
Egypt’s Cabinet of Ministers, headed by the prominent economist and politician Hazem El-Beblawy and appointed by the interim President Adly Mansour after Mohamed Morsy’s ouster, has been facing strong criticism over the past several weeks, as the country has experience the wave if workers’ protests, and Egypt’s government was criticized also for the deteriorating security situation and waiting too long to declared Muslim Brotherhood a prohibited organization. Thus, Hazem El-Beblawy’s interim government has resigned on Monday, 24 February, and Adly Mansour has appointed Ibrahim Mehleb, former Housing Minister in the resigned government, as Prime Minister and tasked him to form the new interim government within the next days.

There were some allegations in Egyptian society and among some experts that resignation of Hazem El-Beblawy government was aimed to support presidential bid of Field Marshall Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, who is expected to run for President and obtained the position of Defense Minister in El-Beblawy’s government. According to Egyptian law, the members of Cabinet of Ministers cannot run for President. Though, anyway, Egypt faces the new, seventh interim government since the January 25 Revolution.

Ibrahim Mehleb in his turn has resigned along with the whole Cabinet of Ministers from his position of Housing Minister. He was a member of dismissed National Democratic Party of Hosni Mubarak and ex-chairman of Arab Contractors Group. Ibrahim Mehleb has stated that the new government will be formed as soon as possible, and the consultations over the new candidacies have started on the next day after the resignation of the previous government.

During the press conference Ibrahim Mehleb, who was appointed by Adly Mansour as Egypt’s new Prime Minister, has outlined the main principles and agenda of the new government. Among the main agenda of the new Cabinet are improving of security measures and of security and public sectors, reforming of the police and its financial, logistic and moral support in order to restore an order and security in the country, forming of special bodies to fight the corruption, improving social situation and recovering of economy. Ibrahim Mehleb has stated that he will make everything possible as a new Prime Minister to meet the hopes and expectations of people.

Hazem El-Beblawy, former Egypt's Prime Minister,
recently resigned
(Image: Ahram Online)
As a result of long discussions and consultations the new government was formed, and the candidacies were presented for the following approval of interim President Adly Mansour. It’s also expected that Adly Mansour should appoint the new Minister of Defense to replace Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, who is expected to run for President. But there are some reports that El-Sissi could possible remain on his position as Defense Minister.

It’s worth mentioning, that 18 ministers from the previous El-Beblawy’s Cabinet will retain their positions, while 9 new ministers have been appointed. In addition to that, the number of ministries has decreased, as 12 ministries were merged into six. Among them are ministry of trade and investment, planning and cooperation, youth and sport, scientific research and higher education, local and administrative development, transitional justice and house of representatives.

Among the ministers who will remain on their positions after in the newly appointed government are:

  1. Adel Labib (Minister of Local and Administrative Development), who served as a governor of several provinces under Hosni Mubarak (Qena, Beheira) and was also a governor of Alexandria. The city faced major protests against his rule.
  2. Ashraf El-Araby (Minister of Planning and International Cooperation), who served on this position also in Hisham Qandeel’s Cabinet during the rule of Mohamed Morsy. He is economist by education and training and was one of the members of the team holding negotiations with IMF over the financial aid for Egypt.
  3. Atef Helmy (Minister of Communications and Information Technologies), who is a graduate of a technical college and worked long in the IT-sphere. He was also appointed on this position in the Cabinet of Qandeel during Morsy’s rule in 2013, but resigned.
  4. Ayman Abu-Hadid (Minister of Agriculture), who was firstly appointed on this position in the Cabinet of Ahmed Shafik during 2011 revolution, then continued to serve in Essam Sharaf’s government, until he was replaced in the Cabinet of Hisham Qandeel.
  5. Dorreya Sharaf El-Deen (Minister of Information), who was appointed by El-Beblawy as a first woman on such a position. She was also a member of one of the committees of currently dissolved NDP of Hosni Mubarak.
  6. Hisham Zaazou (Minister of Tourism), who held this position before, but resigned from the Qandeel’s government.
  7. Ibrahim El-Demery (Minister of Transportation).
  8. Khaled Abdel-Aziz (Minister of Youth and Sports), member of Egypt Party.
  9. Laila Iskandar (Minister of Environment), who is a social entrepreneur, who warked a lot in different environmental projects.
  10. Mahmoud Abul-Nasr (Minister of Education), who was previously a head of ministry’s technical educational sector and is a current member of mechanical engineering department of Cairo University.
  11. Mohamed Ibrahim (Minister of Interior), who was originally appointed during the Hisham Qandeels’ Cabinet reshuffle in 2013 under the rule of Mohamed Morsy and has kept his position in the new interim government of Hazem El-Beblawy. Several human rights groups and many activists have been calling for his dismissal after the violent dispersal of pro-Morsy protesters in Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square in Cairo, which left dozens dead. Under Mohamed Ibrahim police forces have also launched a major crackdown on the Islamist forces in the country.
  12. Mohamed Amin El-Mahdy (Minister of Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation), an international judge and prominent lawmaker.
  13. Mohamed Ibrahim (Minister of Antiquities), who was appointed on this position in 2012 in the Cabinet of Kamal El-Ganzoury and continued to serve on this position in the following Hisham Qandeel’s Cabinet and interim government headed by Hazem El-Beblawy.
  14. Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa (Minister of Religious Endowments), who is a dean of Faculty of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo and member of Al-Azhar’s senior clerical institute.
  15. Mohamed Saber Arab (Minister of Culture), who is a History Professor of Al-Azhar University.
  16. Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour (Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment), who is currently a Secretary General of Egypt’s National Salvation Front, which was in a strong opposition to the regime of Mohamed Morsy.
  17. Nabil Fahmy (Minister of Foreign Affairs), who has a long and successful diplomatic career and is a dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at American University in Cairo.
  18. Sherif Ismail (Minister of Petroleum), who served on this position in the previous El-Beblawy’s government.
Egypt's newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers
(Image: Yahoo News)
There are also 9 newly selected ministers to be appointed on their positions in the new interim government headed by Ibrahim Mehleb:

  1. Ghada Waly (Minister of Social Solidarity) – Secretary General of the Social Fund for Development, who participated also in the UNDP projects. She is graduated from Colorado University, USA.
  2. Hossam Kamal (Aviation Minister) – a chairman of EgyptAir since 2013 and a representative of Arab airlines in the International Aviation Union.
  3. Hany Kadry Dimian (Minister of Finance), who was a deputy finance minister in 2012-2013, but resigned under the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule. He is a key negotiator in the talks with IMF regarding the financial aid for Egypt.
  4. Ibrahim Younis (Minister of Military Production), who is a major General in Egyptian Armed Forces.
  5. Khaled Hanafi (Minister of Supply) – chair of the Internal Trade Development Authority.
  6. Mohamed Shaker (Minister of Electricity), who’s company is responsible for construction of Cairo’s third metro line.
  7. Nahed El-Ashry (Minister of Manpower), who headed department of labor relations and collective bargaining in the ministries in Qandeel’s and El-Beblawy’s Cabinets.
  8. Mostafa Madbouli (Minister of Housing) – an architect and urban designer, holding PhD of Cairo University.
  9. Tarek Hanafi (Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources), who headed the central department for water resources in the Cabinet during Mohamed Morsy’s rule and participated also in several international projects.