Abouelnaga says she will not continue in new cabinet

Prime Minister Hesham Qandil said that Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abouelnaga has submitted a plan to double national income during the next ten years — but she won’t be the one to see that plan through.

Abouelnaga said Thursday she will not be a minister in the next cabinet.

She said she has served a sufficient number of years in the role, pointing out that she took the post at the same time 11 years ago during Ramadan.

Abouelnaga told reporters at the headquarters of the cabinet in Nasr City that she wishes the new prime minister success, saying, "May God help him."

Reports had circulated that Abouelnaga may continue to be a minister in the cabinet of new Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, having kept her post in four successive cabinets.

She is the only person to have occupied the position of minister of international cooperation, which was created in 2001. Ahmed Shafiq made her minister of planning during the short-lived cabinet he appointed after being made prime minister by Hosni Mubarak during the 25 January uprising last year.

Shafiq lauded Abouelnaga today on his Facebook page, saying that she had stood up against the US during loan negotiations. He called on Abouelnaga to show her capabilities as "as the strongest woman in the world.”

“I wish that Abouelnaga can continue to serve her country through a non-governmental organization that bears her name,” Shafiq added.

After Shafiq’s tenure as prime minister, Abouelnaga survived cabinet various reshuffles and resignations after the uprising despite being seen as a symbol of the Mubarak regime and a close friend of Suzanne Mubarak.

Her tasks included overseeing foreign funding and regulating the funding of NGOs.

A cabinet source said that President Mohamed Morsy praised Abouelnaga's performance and her management of the files entrusted to her.

When Abouelnaga retained her post in March 2011 in the first cabinet formed after the uprising, headed by Essam Sharaf, young revolutionary forces were outraged. Sharaf also faced a storm of criticism when the minister kept her post after a cabinet shuffle in July 2011.

The April 6 Youth Movement at that time accused Abouelnaga of being involved in defending the Mubarak regime in the US as well as working against Egyptian activists.

She was a staunch supporter of the ruling military council during the interim period, and recently accused the now-dissolved Parliament of sabotaging the signing of a US$3.2 billion IMF loan.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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