“I don’t have any information about a coming cabinet reshuffle,” said Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab Wednesday, commenting on speculation that he himself might leave office sometime soon.
Reports have circulated recently in the Egyptian media of a possible cabinet reshuffle as President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday publicly criticised a number of ministers, including Mahlab.
While addressing news cameras during a visit to open various new public projects, and in the presence of the prime minister, El-Sisi took issue with Mahlab's performance in office. opening the door to speculation of an upcoming cabinet reshuffle.
"You promised me you will perform like a 'bulldozer' which opens roads. But where is this bulldozer?" El-Sisi wondered.
Mahlab, in a special interview with Amr Abdel-Hameed on the privately-owned TEN TV, did not deny or confirm the possibility of changes in at least some of the portfolios in his government.
“Change is always a possibility,” Mahlab said.
However, when asked about media reports that quoted "informed sources" about a possible change in guard in the coming weeks, the prime minister said he had no information.
”You need to ask the media,"he said, adding that anyone can leave his post at any time, “if it is in the public interest.”
In March 2014, former Interim President Adly Mansour appointed Mahlab prime minister after his serving briefly as minister of housing.
El-Sisi kept Mahlab on after he won the presidential elections in June 2014.
In March 2015, El-Sisi made a limited cabinet reshuffle but retained Mahlab as prime minister.