Egypt approves the expected government formation.. and extensive changes include the Minister of Defense

Egyptian media reported that Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s new government will see long-awaited changes including new defense and foreign ministers, and is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday.

The local Extra News channel said on Wednesday that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi decided to promote Lieutenant General Abdel Majeed Saqr and appoint him as Minister of Defense, succeeding Lieutenant General Mohamed Ahmed Zaki.

Former Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was removed from the new government formation, with Ambassador Badr Abdel Aati appointed as Foreign Minister after merging it with the Ministry of Immigration.

According to the local newspaper “Youm7”, the new government included the ministries of transport and industry under one umbrella, to be managed by Lieutenant General Kamel Al-Wazir, Minister of Transport in the previous government, with his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister, and Khaled Abdel Ghaffar retaining the position of Minister of Health, while also assuming the position of Deputy Prime Minister.

Rania Al-Mashat was also reappointed as Minister of Planning, Economic Development and International Cooperation, after the two ministries were merged, Amr Talaat as Minister of Communications, Ashraf Sobhi as Minister of Youth and Sports, Hani Sweilem as Minister of Irrigation, Ayman Ashour as Minister of Higher Education, and Yasmine Fouad as Minister of Environment.

The change affected the ministries of finance, petroleum, electricity and supply, as Karim Badawi took over the position of Minister of Petroleum, Ahmed Kojok the Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Esmat the Ministry of Electricity, and Sherif Farouk the Ministry of Supply, according to what the local channel “Extra News” reported.

After being cancelled for years, the new government witnessed the revival of the investment portfolio and the appointment of Hassan Al-Khatib as its minister.

While Maya Morsi assumed the Ministry of Social Solidarity, Adnan Fanjari assumed the Ministry of Justice, Osama Al-Azhari assumed the Ministry of Endowments, Mohamed Abdel Latif assumed the Ministry of Education, Sameh Al-Hafni assumed the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Alaa Farouk assumed the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, and Mohamed Gebran assumed the Ministry of Labor.

Manal Awad Mikhail became Minister of Local Development, while Sherif El-Sherbiny became Minister of Housing, Mahmoud Fawzy Minister of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs, Mohamed Gebran Minister of Labor, Sherif Fathy Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim Minister of the Business Sector, Mohamed Salah El-Din Minister of Military Production, and Ahmed Hano Minister of Culture.

The Egyptian House of Representatives is scheduled to hold a general session this week to review the government’s program, which is scheduled to be presented by the Prime Minister, according to what a parliamentary source confirmed to Alhurra’s correspondent.

The source said, “The Prime Minister will present the government’s program to the Council next Monday to obtain the confidence of the representatives on the government’s program or their rejection of it.”

He added: “After the statement is delivered, a committee of council members will be formed, headed by one of the two deputies, to discuss the programme, then present it to the council for discussion. After that, the council will adjourn its sessions to return next October.”

The Egyptian Constitution and the House of Representatives Law set out the rules and procedures necessary to grant confidence to the new government, as Article (146) of the Constitution states: “The President of the Republic shall assign a Prime Minister to form the government and present his program to the House of Representatives. If his government does not obtain the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives within 30 days at most, the President of the Republic shall assign a Prime Minister nominated by the party or coalition that holds the majority of the seats in the House of Representatives. If his government does not obtain the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives within 30 days, the House shall be deemed dissolved and the President of the Republic shall call for the election of a new House of Representatives within 60 days from the date of issuance of the dissolution decision.”

The new government faces challenges including the war in the Gaza Strip, economic problems, and continuous power outages that have frustrated Egyptians and led to the closure of some factories, according to Reuters.

On June 3, the Egyptian President accepted the resignation of Madbouly’s government and reassigned him to form a new government.

Opponents criticised Madbouly’s continued tenure in the position he has held for nearly 6 years, despite the country’s economic crisis and the decline in the value of the local currency.

Nearly two-thirds of Egypt’s 106 million people live below or just above the poverty line, and the country is facing a decline in foreign exchange earnings, both from tourism, which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and then the war in Ukraine, and now in the Gaza Strip, as well as from the Suez Canal.

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