New government in Egypt sworn in

Widely-popular Egyptian army chief Sisi becomes the sole deputy premier and defense minister

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A new Egyptian government was sworn in on Saturday, with popular army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi re-appointed as the now-sole deputy premier and defense minister, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The new cabinet, led by new Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, was unveiled after the previous government resigned on Monday amid mounting criticism of its failure to tackle a floundering economy and worsening industrial unrest.

Sisi previously held the position of defense minister in the previous government. He is widely expected to win the forthcoming presidential election but has yet to formally announce his candidacy. He must vacate the position of defense minister in order to run.

Sisi backed the previous government through tumultuous times, including a heavy crackdown on ousted President Mohammed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement and a nationwide referendum that adopted a new constitution while Islamic militant insurgency and terror attacks surged.

Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim has kept his post, along with 20 other ministers.

Opposition parties have previously expressed their disapproval regarding Ibrahim, claiming his ministry is involved in “criminal practices.”

Al-Dostour Party (The Constitution Party), the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), Misr al-Hurreya (Free Egypt Party), and the Bread and Liberty Party said Saturday that they demanded the restructuring of Ibrahim's interior ministry.

“Calling for the Ministry of Interior’s restructure, a demand raised by the 2011 revolution, was never with the intention of revenge [against] the police,” the Daily News Egypt quoted their statement as saying.

They also said that revolutionary demands included ensuring judiciary independence and achieving social justice.

The new Cabinet includes three Christians and four women, but no Islamists. It removes most ministers who were members of political parties formed after the 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Al-Ahram newspaper said the cabinet reshuffle also included the merging of 12 ministries to six.

The ministries that were combined included trade and investment, planning and cooperation, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, local and administrative development, and transitional justice and the house of representatives.

Below is an excerpt from al-Ahram newspaper of the ministers from the previous government who will remain in their posts:

1. Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
2. Minister of Interior Mohammad Ibrahim
3. Minister of Tourism Hisham Zazou
4. Minister of Transportation Ibrahim Domeiri
5. Minister of Communication Atef Helmy
6. Minister of Local Development Adel Labib
7. Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid
8. Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim
9. Minister of Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation Amin A-Mahdy
10. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Noor.
11. Minister of Culture Saber Arab
12. Minister of Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf al-Arabi
13. Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy
14. Minister of Information Doreya Sharaf al-Din
15. Minister of Environment Laila Iskandar
16. Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail
17.Minister of Religious Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa
18.Minister of Education Mahmoud Abou al-Nasr
19. Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Moteleb
20. Minister of Sports and Youth Khaled Abdel-Aziz

The newly appointed ministers are:

1. Minister of Justice Nayer Abdel-Moneim Othman
2. Minister of Military Production Ibrahim Younis
3. Minister of Health Adel al-Adawi
4. Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouli
5. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wael al-Degwi
6. Minister of Manpower Nahed Ashri
7. Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy
8. Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker
9. Minister of Finance Hani Qadri Demian
10. Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali
11. Minister of Aviation Mohamed Hossam Kamal

This new interim government is the sixth since 2011. It’s also the second interim government after Mursi’s ouster in July.

The new Cabinet will face a host of challenges ranging from Egypt’s unstable security situation to a battered economy drained of resources.

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