|Ganzouri, left, was appointed Egypt’s acting prime minister by Field Marshal Tantawi in November 2011 [Reuters]
Kamal el-Ganzouri, 78, who has been appointed Egypt’s new prime minister by the country’s ruling military council, is a US-trained economist with decades of experience in Egyptian politics.
Ganzouri earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan before returning to Egypt in the early 1960s, eventually becoming an economic advisor to the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and then to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
Ganzouri was appointed undersecretary of planning minister in 1974 before serving as governor of the New Valley State in 1976 and Bani Suef State in 1977. He served as governor of Bani Suef for six months before resigning to become director of the government’s Institute of National Planning.
Following Hosni Mubarak’s rise to power in 1981, Ganzouri was appointed minister of planning in 1982 and then minister of international co-operation in 1984. He served as deputy prime minister from 1986 until 1996, and then prime minister from 1996 to 1999.
On November 25, 2011, Ganzouri was asked by Field Marshall Mohammed Tantawi, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), to accept the position of prime minister and form a new cabinet.
The military council, which served as an interim government following the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak in February of 2011, chose Ganzouri to end six days of clashes between police and protesters demanding that the military immediately hand power to a civilian authority.
Upon accepting the position, Ganzouri informed Egyptians that he would be given more power to govern than his predecessor, Essam Sharaf, who was considered weak and beholden to the ruling generals.
Protesters, however, rejected Ganzouri’s appointment, arguing that he was far too old and entrenched in Mubarak-era institutions to succesfully lead a post-revolution Egypt.