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Egypt's newly appointed minister of industry turns down Cabinet post

Controversy garnered by the appointment of a businessman to the Cabinet prompted Ahmed Fikry's change of heart

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jul 2011
Ahmed Fekry
Ahmed Fekry and Essam Sharaf (Photo bu Al-Ahram)
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Ahmed Fikry has announced that he will not, afterall, be assuming the post of minister of trade and industry to which he was appointed on Monday.

Fikry was chosen by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf for the ministerial post as part of his Cabinet reshuffle.

In a statement to Ahram Online’s sister Arabic portal he outlined his reasons for turning down the post. The hostile reaction to his candidacy played a key part in his decision.

“I completely refuse that there be any controversy around me personally that could disrupt my beloved country’s attainment of stability and reconstruction,” he said in the written statement.

Fikry also spoke of the “grave mistake” to assume that every businessman is corrupt as this will rule them out for governmental positions at the time their expertise and skills are sorely needed.

Fikry’s appointment prompted concerns over how to regulate against conflicts of interest arising between ministers’ private pursuits and public duty to the country.

The current chairman and managing director of the FAW Industrial Group, a listed Egyptian company established in April 2008 that specialises in trading disc brake pads for private and commercial vehicles, Fikry was also adjunct professor of management science at the American University in Cairo up to 2001.

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