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Eight Egyptian ministers to be replaced in February reshuffle: Al-Ahram daily

Cabinet reshuffle to include health minister, education minister, and at least one economic minister, say sources

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Jan 2017
PM Sherif Ismail
File Photo: Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (Photo: Reuters)
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A planned cabinet reshuffle will include the changing of eight ministerial portfolios, Al-Ahram daily reported on Monday.

Unnamed sources told Al-Ahram the reshuffle would include the removal of several ministers, including the education and health ministers, and a "minister from the economic ministerial group."

A number of ministries have responsibility for economic and budgetary issues, among them the finance ministry, the planning ministry, the supply ministry, and the investment ministry.
Some of the ministers the Al-Ahram report cited as due to be removed have been subject to criticism in the media and from MPs.

Concerns have been expressed about rising inflation and commodity shortages in the wake of economic reforms last year, including a decision to float the pound.

Meanwhile, Education Minister El-Hilali El-Sherbini faced calls for his resignation from MPs last summer when national school exams were leaked on social media. A recent decision to introduce a new examination booklet system has also been controversial, and several protests against the new system have been organised by students.

Likewise, Health Minister Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady has been under fire from the Pharmacists Syndicate, who threatened to hold a nationwide strike after the ministry announced an increase in the prices of 3,000 medications amid a medicine shortage.

The reshuffle is also expected to see the merging of some ministries, among them the civil aviation, tourism, antiquities, culture, manpower, and immigration and expatriate affairs ministries. Al-Ahram did not specify which ministries were expected to be merged with each other.

According to the report the authorities are examining names of candidates; the official announcement of the changes is expected in the first week of February.

Last week, Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, who has only reshuffled his cabinet once since 2015, in March 2016, said his cabinet was preparing to submit a proposal for a ministerial reshuffle to parliament by the end of the month.

The decision by Ismail came after Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said previously in a joint interview with three state-owned Egyptian dailies that in a ministerial reshuffle was under way.

According to Article 147 of the constitution, the president may exempt the government from carrying out its tasks, provided that the majority of parliament approves.

The president may then conduct a cabinet reshuffle after consultation with the prime minister and the approval of the parliament by an absolute majority of attendees. 

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