Prime minister to replace information minister

Kamal al-Ganzouri, the newly appointed prime minster, has demanded that Egypt’s de-facto leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, replace Information Minister Osama Heikal in the new cabinet, a cabinet source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The source, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly, said that Tantawi agreed to replace Heikal. The move is expected to take place on Wednesday.

Heikal has come under severe criticism for biased state media coverage of October’s violence outside the Maspero state TV building, when army vehicles ran over protesters, most of them Copts, and fired live ammunition, resulting in 27 deaths.

State TV was accused of inciting hatred against protesters by spreading false news about protesters attacking the army.

The source also said that Ganzouri's preference for the post is an experienced figure from the state-owned Radio and Television Union (RTU) or a university professor of mass-communications.

He added that Ganzouri’s first choice is Sami al-Sherif, a professor of mass-communications, who was appointed head the RTU a few months ago but later resigned after claims that he had been a supporter of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

At the end of December, the new prime minister said that he would only take a few days to complete the formation of a new national salvation government, comprised of 23 ministers.

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