Saturday, September 12, 2015

Egypt's El-Sisis fires cabinet

Sherif Ismail
Sherif Ismail
The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday asked Oil Minister Sherif Ismail to form a new cabinet within one week after the government submitted its resignation, a statement from the presidency said. The old cabinet in the meantime will take on as a caretaker government.
It was not immediately clear why the government resigned but officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Sisi had been unhappy with the performance of several ministries. The announcement comes almost one week after the authorities arrested Egypt's agriculture minister over corruption allegations. There had also been uncofirmed media reports that other ministers in Mahlab's cabinet might also be investigated on corruption charges.Following the agriculture minister's resignation, media reports suggested that other ministers might be replaced.

Ismail will likely be appointed the new prime minister, replacing Ibrahim Mahlab. An engineer who held senior posts at several state-run energy firms, Ismail is seen as one of the best performing ministers.
As oil minister, he oversaw politically sensitive reforms, slashing energy subsidies, and also paid back some arrears to foreign energy companies to improve Egypt's image among investors. Egypt is due to hold long-delayed parliamentary elections next month, the final step in a process the government has said would deliver democracy. , constitutional law expert Shawky El-Sayed believes that the new cabinet will need to submit its programme to parliament for approval.
"The elected parliament will vote on the programme of the appointed cabinet," El-Sayed told Ahram Online. "There will be two scenarios following the vote; either parliament will vote in favour or it will vote against the programme." He further explained that if a majority of MPs vote against the programme, they will be tasked with nominating a new prime minister, according to the Egyptian constitution.

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