Egypt's new cabinet set to be announced

Official announcement to come day after state media released partial list dominated by technocrats.

    Egypt's new cabinet set to be announced
    State media said the newly appointed cabinet will include two Muslim Brotherhood members [File]

    Egypt’s new cabinet is due to be officially announced on Thursday, as state media released a partial list of the country's incoming cabinet members.

    The list includes few Islamists and some holdovers from the outgoing military-backed team in key positions.

    The cabinet is the first under newly elected President Mohamed Morsi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood official, who tasked his newly appointed prime minister, Hesham Qandil, with the job of selecting the cabinet.

    Qandil's choices are seen as a key test of the Muslim Brotherhood's intentions.

    Of the 20 incoming ministers listed by the state media late on Wednesday, Muslim Brotherhood members, are to fill two posts, higher education and the housing ministries.

    Crucial posts

    The crucial positions of finance and foreign ministers are holdovers from the military-backed transition cabinet.

    Other key positions, including the ministers of justice and the minister of culture and information, have not yet been named.

    The military is expected to name the defence minister.

    Since the presidential election in June, Egypt has been embroiled in a complex power struggle between Morsi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which ruled the country since its former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February 2011.

    No Salafi seat

    Just days before Morsi was elected, the SCAF disbanded parliament in response to a constitutional court ruling that it had been invalidly elected.

    However, the new government will have no representative from the Salafi party, Al-Nour, which backed Morsi in his bid for the presidency.

    Nader Bakkar, an Al-Nour party spokesman, said Qandil ignored requests by his party for the communication, local development and business sector ministries, offering instead the environment portfolio.

    "We rejected this," he told the Associated Press news agency. "We were not consulted in the formation of the government, and we won't participate in the government so as not to bear the responsibility."

    As Egypt's two leading Islamist movements, the Salafis and the Brotherhood are Egypt's two leading Islamist movements with the Salafis having won 25 per cent of the seats in the now dissolved parliament, while the Brotherhood garnered nearly 50 per cent.

    Mubarak appeal 

    In a separate development, Egypt's prosecutor-general appealed on Wednesday against the outcome of the trial of Hosni Mubarak and several of his senior officials over deaths in the uprising that unseated the president.

    The prosecutor called for the June 2 verdicts to be annulled and for a new trial to be held.

    It was not immediately clear on what grounds the appeal was made.

    Judge Ahmed Refaat convicted Mubarak and Adly for their roles in the deaths of more than 800 protesters during the revolt that ousted them in February last year but failed to punish any of those who actually conducted the killings.

    Corruption charges against Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, were also dropped because of the expiry of a statute of limitations, and the ex-president was acquitted in one of the corruption cases.

    But Alaa and Gamal remain in custody because they are awaiting trial in another case.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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