PM meets with Brotherhood, Salafi figures ahead of Cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Hesham Qandil has begun consultations regarding the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle. Eight new ministers are expected to be appointed following the successive resignation of several members of the Cabinet.

The reshuffle will most likely include the ministries of transport, local development, supply, electricity, petrol, communications, finance and legal affairs, a high-level Cabinet source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Qandil is to submit his nominations to President Mohamed Morsy for approval in the coming week. Nominations are expected to include members of the Freedom and Justice Party, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s guidance bureau is holding discussions on this matter.

A Brotherhood source said the group almost unanimously agreed to nominate Abdallah Shehata, the head of the FJP’s economic committee, as finance minister. Nour Party Secretary General Galal al-Morrah and Nour Party deputy head Sayed Mostafa are both also expected to receive nominations to the Cabinet. The three potential candidates all met with Qandil on Thursday.

Morrah told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he met with Qandil and Mostafa to discuss the current political and economic situation, as well as the nominations for the Cabinet. The Nour Party has nominated “a large number of its members to the new Cabinet, and it is in touch with the guidance bureau of the Brotherhood on this issue,” he added.

Several party leaders have objected to Qandil staying on as prime minister in the face of Egypt’s worsening economic crisis, and have called on Morsy to replace him with an expert in economics.

The Qandil Cabinet has not provided a clear plan to address the country’s economic decline and ongoing labor unrest, and has resorted to the former regime’s methods of borrowing domestically and internationally as a quick fix for cash flow problems, said Constitution Party deputy head Ahmed al-Bora’ei.

Hussein Zayed, the Shura Council MP for the Wasat Party, issued a press release on Thursday saying the party was shocked that Qandil had been entrusted with forming a new Cabinet.

The Wasat Party has objected to Qandil’s appointment as prime minister since the first day, the statement added, claiming that he was a non-politicized figure unfit for the position. Qandil’s Cabinet failed miserably in managing the country and was virtually absent during the violent political turmoil of the past two months, Zayed claimed.

Free Egyptians Party leader Mahmoud al-Alayly said the party had not received any communication on the nomination of members for the Cabinet reshuffle, but that the party would refuse any offers of positions in the Cabinet.

The president's insistence on asking Qandil to reshuffle the Cabinet is a sign of stubbornness against opposition forces, which demanded the dismissal of the Cabinet for its lack of political or economic vision, he added.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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