Egypt's former housing minister to head new cabinet

By bne IntelliNews February 25, 2014

Egypt’s Interim President Adli Mansour asked former housing minister Ibrahim Mehleb to form a new government to replace the cabinet of Prime Minister Hazem El Beblawi, who handed his resignation on Feb 24. A prominent economist and politician, El Beblawi was appointed PM last July following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

His government successfully faced the dual challenges of navigating the treacherous waters of rising militant violence as well as arranging urgent foreign assistance to revive an economy on the brink of collapse. However, in recent weeks, El Beblawi’s government was undermined by a spate of public protests from disgruntled public sector workers demanding the application of the minimum wage handed out to state employees. Strikes spread in a number of vital sectors including textile workers, public transport workers, postal workers and state doctors. Both financial and industrial investors welcomed the news of the government’s departure with the stock market reversing earlier losses during the day closing higher.

The cabinet’s resignation seems to pave the way for the reportedly popular defense minister General Abdel Fatah El Sisi to pick from behind the scenes a prime minister and a government without parliamentary approval ahead of his announcement to run in the upcoming presidential elections. The constitution of 2014 requires the president to form a government in coordination with parliament.

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