Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Mursi on Monday appointed four aides and 17 advisers including Christians and women, his spokesman Yasser Ali announced.
A Coptic Christian intellectual and a woman university professor were among the four presidential assistants.
Samir Morcos, a liberal Coptic writer engaged in the dialogue between Islam and Christianity, has been named “assistant for democratic transition, Ali said.
Pakinam al-Sharkawi, a female political sciences professor at Cairo university, was appointed “assistant for political affairs,” he added.
The president also chose two assistants from the Islamist camp.
Emad Abdel Ghafour, the leader of the ultra-conservative Al-Nur Salafist party, was named “assistant in charge of relations with civil society” while Essam al-Haddad from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party becomes assistant for “external relations and international cooperation.”
Meanwhile, two women and two other Copts were chosen to be among the 17 advisers for the president.
Unlike the four aides, who will have offices at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, the advisers will not.
Mursi, who was fielded for the presidential elections by the Freedom and Justice Party, had pledged during his campaign to include Copts in his administration.
But the Coptic community, which represents 14 percent of Egypt’s 82 million people, was unhappy over the composition of the country’s new cabinet which was sworn in in early August and includes only two women, one of them a Copt.