Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt Parliament Speaker Saad El-Katatni on Sunday said he had received a telephone call from Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council, informing him of an imminent cabinet reshuffle within 48 hours, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported on Sunday evening.
Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri reportedly visited the military council's headquarters shortly after the council announced its intention to make changes to the current Cabinet. A source quoted in Al-Ahram's Arabic-language website described the looming reshuffle as "limited," saying it would include new ministers from Islamist-oriented and other parties currently represented in Parliament.
Earlier on Sunday, El-Katatni announced the suspension of all scheduled sessions of the People's Assembly – the lower house of Egypt's parliament – until 6 May. The move was reportedly taken to protest the continuance of the government of Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri against the wishes of the parliamentary majority.
On 24 April, the People's Assembly rejected the government's economic and political programme, but stopped short of taking any concrete steps towards withdrawing confidence from the incumbent cabinet. According to last year's constitutional declaration, only the ruling military council – not parliament – enjoys the authority to withdraw confidence from the government.
The fate of the El-Ganzouri government is only part of an ongoing dispute between the military council and the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Brotherhood's FJP has been demanding for weeks that the parliamentary majority be allowed to form a new government, the military council has consistently rejected the demand.