Egypt’s Sisi swears in new government

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt. (File photo: AP)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi swore in a new government on Saturday that included 16 new ministers, a week after the previous administration resigned following a corruption scandal, state news agency MENA reported.

Sharif Ismail, a former petroleum minister seen as a veteran technocrat, will serve as prime minister.

Sisi named former head of the state oil company Tarek al-Mullah as petroleum minister, charged with easing the country’s energy crisis and attracting more foreign investment in a strategic sector.

Former premier Ibrahim Mahlab’s government resigned on September 12 days after the arrest of agriculture minister Salah Helal as part of a corruption probe.

A senior government official had told AFP the reshuffle, the first major shake-up since Sisi won elections last year, was meant to “pump new blood” into the government.

The ministers of foreign affairs, defence, interior, justice and finance have kept their positions in the new cabinet.

The new government faces a multitude of challenges

ISIS, which seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, has gained the backing of the most active militant group in Egypt, the recently renamed Sinai Province.

Militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Hundreds have been killed in bombing and shooting attacks.

Egypt is struggling to get large volumes of foreign investment after years of political turmoil triggered by the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, even though Sisi’s economic reforms have won praise.

 

(With AFP and Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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