Egypt's parliament mulls three scenarios after the resignation of CBE governor Tarek Amer

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 17 Aug 2022

MPs said there are three scenarios following the resignation of the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer on Wednesday.

A file photo of Egypt s Parliament (Photo: Reuters)


President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi accepted on Wednesday morning the resignation submitted by Amer and appointed him as a presidential adviser, according to a statement by the presidency.

Abdel-Moneim Imam, secretary-general of the house's budget committee, said in an official statement that the resignation of Amer paves the way for three scenarios.

"The first is that El-Sisi decides to name a new CBE governor soon and that in such a case and in line with Article 216 of Egypt's 2014 constitution and Article 243 of parliament's internal bylaws, the House of Representatives shall hold an emergency session to discuss and vote the president's decision," said Imam.

The emergency session will come as the house is currently on a three-month summer recess.

Amer's resignation comes just five days after the house held an emergency meeting to approve a reshuffling of the cabinet in which the president appointed 13 new ministers, two of whom are in charge of economic portfolios.

Amer's resignation comes a day prior to the CBE's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) scheduled meeting to review the key interest rates in Egypt.

Local analysts agreed the cabinet reshuffle came in preparation for new government measures aimed at absorbing the economic pressures triggered by the six-month-old war in Ukraine that has led to a significant drop in Egypt's foreign exchange reserves (from $40 billion to $34 billion) due to a soaring bill of imports and reduction in foreign exchange revenues coming from the tourism sector.

Imam explained that the second scenario is that CBE's most senior deputy Gamal Negm will replace Amer on an interim basis and in such a case, the house will not be obliged to hold an emergency session. It just has to wait until the first week of October when it is scheduled to open its new legislative season.

The third scenario, said Imam, is that President El-Sisi names a new CBE governor for an interim period. In this case, the house would vote the decision only when it reconvenes in the first week of October.

Speculation is rife in parliamentary circles that Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said could be selected to be the CBE's new governor.

Amer decided to step down after seven years in office. He was named CBE's governor in 2015, and in November 2019 the house approved El-Sisi's decision to extend his term for another four years, until November 2023.

Article 216 of the constitution states that "the newly-appointed CBE governor remains in office for a renewable four-year term."

The resignation of Amer comes amid reports that there are divisions within the MPC over the government's ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure a new loan to help shore up the country's foreign exchange reserves negatively affected by the war in Ukraine.

Some say Amer was in support of IMF's precondition that the government further devalues the Egyptian pound in order to be eligible for the new loan, while others said CBE's deputy governor Negam rejects stringent IMF conditions, saying that the country's new policy of restricting imports have largely reduced demand on foreign currency from $3.9 billion in February – when the war in Ukraine broke out – to just $400 million in July.

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