Analysts: Sharaf’s cabinet continues Mubarak regime policies

Many political analysts and economists criticized the performance of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's cabinet for following the same policies of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the former president. They attributed this phenomenon to restrictions imposed on the cabinet and the inclusion of Mubarak-era ministers. They called for forming a “real” revolutionary cabinet. 

Most current ministers belong to the former regime, said Wahid Abdel Meguid, a political analyst at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. The cabinet handles problems using the same policies of the former regime and has not made any significant changes, he added.

He said there is a lot of evidence that Sharaf has not been granted full powers, and is forced to address problems using the old way.

Although it’s possible that “the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) imposed restrictions on Sharaf’s government, it is certain that the government received all the blows on the behalf of the SCAF," Abdel Meguid said, adding that the real test for Sharaf will be after the formation of the new government.

The real change began only two days ago when the Interior Ministry shake-up was announced, though it ended the service of only 60 percent of Mubarak-era high ranking officials, he said.

Amr Hashem Rabie, senior analyst at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said Sharaf's government "proved to be only a caretaker government," a fact which caused it to fail.

He said the cabinet addressed issues using the same methods as Mubarak's regime, a phenomenon he ascribed to the fact that most of the ministers were part of it.

He agreed that the military junta has not granted Sharaf's cabinet full powers, and thus its performance cannot be assessed fairly, adding that the government has taken criticism on the behalf of the military junta in many situations.

He attributed clashes between police and demonstrators to old policies in dealing with demonstrations.

He added that the only positive change he could see was allowing criticism of officials and the military junta on state television.
The way the government handles the economic situation is worse than the former regime, said economist Abdel Khaliq Farouk.

In reference to the current finance minister, Farouk said he used the same policies as former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali developing the budget. This proves that the cabinet does not have an economic vision consistent with the revolution’s objectives, he said.

Finance Minister Samir Radwan should have hastened to abolish Law 11/1979, which separates the income of bodies such as the Suez Canal Authority and the Petroleum Authority from the state budget and leads to a loss in public funds, Farouk added.

If we really had a revolutionary government, the economic conditions would have changed dramatically over the past few months, he said, adding that overcoming the economic crisis requires a real revolutionary government that has the political, economic and social will to confront international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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