Egypt Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (AFP)
An anticipated Egyptian cabinet reshuffle would not take place before 12 February when the parliament reconvenes for a vote, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail was quoted by MENA on Thursday.
The parliament, which is currently on a short recess, will have to approve the reshuffle before the new ministers’ are sworn-in before the country's president.
Ismail also stated that some ministries could be merged and some eliminated but no new ministries would be created.
According to MENA, the PM said that some figures who were approached to take ministry portfolios declined the offer.
Ismail explained some turned down the job because of the critical conditions the country is currently facing.
Ismail added that this limited the choices available.
On Wednesday, cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan said on TV that the reshuffle is still being finalised and that no final decisions on portfolios have been made yet.
Last week, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said a government reshuffle would take place “very soon.”
The last government shake-up took place in March 2016, when ten ministers, mainly those with economic portfolios, were replaced.
The March changes included the ministers of tourism, finance, investment, justice, civil aviation, irrigation, human resources, antiquities and transportation.
A new ministry for the public business sector was also created. The current cabinet comprises 34 ministries.