Several institutions and officials in Egypt have been affected by the news of Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohammed Mursi approaching victory. Yet news of an Islamist president coming to power has apparently taken a bigger toll on the cabinet in general and Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri in particular.
For the past two days, the cabinet has sunk into a state of silence whether on the level of ministers or staff and the place has become increasingly gloomy, reported the Egyptian independent newspaper al-Youm al-Sabea.
“Even the way ministers interacted with journalists on a daily basis has drastically changed,” said the paper.
On Monday, Ganzouri held the first meeting after the initial results of the elections were out and journalists were waiting for him and other ministers to comment on the political situation. None of them did amid talk that the cabinet had received instructions not to talk to the press.
Ganzouri’s stance was no less exceptional than that of his cabinet. The man who has worked nonstop throughout the 200 days of his government and only took one day off no longer holds meetings and only comes to his office to read the mail then leaves at 2:30 pm.
According to an inside source, members of the cabinet were extremely frustrated when the unofficial results of the presidential elections came out.
This disappointment, the source added, turned into confusion when the cabinet got information that Mursi is not the certain winner and that his rival Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq was ahead of him with 116,000 votes.
Cabinet members, the source said, viewed the Brotherhood’s preemptive celebration of Mursi’s victory as a sign of the group’s concerns lest their candidate lose and as a means of putting pressure on the Presidential Elections Committee to announce him as Egypt’s coming president.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)