Friday, 9 December 2011

Prime Minister El Ganzouri announced cabinet

Kamal El Ganzouri, appointed prime minister by the ruling military after the resignation of Essam Sharaf after the violent protests in Tahrir Square that were put down by force with 42 deaths, waited until the results of the first round of parliamentary elections were in before announcing his cabinet. His appointments, however, show that the election results counted for nothing in his deliberations. The cabinet consists of the usual mix of former senior civil servants and technocrats who can administer, rather than politicians with vision or, at least, courage to take policy decisions.

Islamists might have won the popular vote, but this has not been taken as any right to exercise power or responsibility through government. None of the new ministers is a member of one of the Islamist parties.

Nor has the 78 year-old Ganzouri, who was Mubarak's prime minister in the 1990s, gone for youth. Most of the appointees are in the autumn of their lives.

He has retained two Mubarak-era ministers: Hassan Younis for electricity and Fayza abu Naga, for international co-operation (and one of three women in cabinet). The defence minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi remains unchanged but since he appointed Ganzouri he is above question. Half the cabinet remain. They include foreign affairs and tourism.

There was some delay because of the difficulty of finding someone competent and suitable to be interior minister. Once again, the interior minister is not a civilian but a former police chief and one who has, like all such men, a history of brutality in the repression of dissent: General Mohamed Ibrahim, former head of the Giza Security Directorate.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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