New Egypt cabinet faces criticism by revolutionary group, liberal figure

Ahram Online, Thursday 2 Aug 2012

The Revolution Youth Union blasts new Cabinet as part of a 'deal between the military, Muslim Brotherhood, and remnants of old regime'; Ayman Nour claims President Morsi's popularity has plummeted

The Revolution Youth Union (RYU) slammed the newly formed Cabinet Thursday, stating the choices of ministers have not been made according to merit, as technocrats, nor according to national consensus.

These terms were used by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and other state officials over the past week about the Cabinet that Qandil was putting together, unveiled today.

The RYU is one of several youth groups that were formed following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak amid the January 25 Revolution.

In a press statement, the RYU claims that favouritism was the main method of choice.

The group slammed the new Cabinet as being an outcome of a balance of power between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), figures with allegiances to ousted president Hosni Mubarak, and the Muslim Brotherhood.   

“The insistence of Mohamed Morsi to appoint Hisham Qandil — who occupied key posts within the former regime — in addition to heading one of the most important issues of national security, which is that of Nile Water, is highly indicative of the fact that Morsi and the SCAF do not wish to see change,” claimed RYU spokesperson Wael Hamada.

Haitham El-Khatib of the RYU stated that the composition of the Cabinet is the clearest proof that a deal was forged between Morsi and the SCAF, in an attempt to “bury the revolution," but did not provide examples.

Also commenting on controversy around the new government's formation, head of Ghad Al-Thawra Party and member of the second Constituent Assembly that is tasked with drafting Egypt’s upcoming constitution, Ayman Nour, stated Thursday that the Cabinet would not work in the interest of President Mohamed Morsi.

Nour added that Morsi’s popularity has "markedly decreased" at a time when public support for the presidency is most needed. He added that he believes Egyptians increasingly express concern over the chances of Morsi’s success, adding: “We all wish he is able to prove otherwise since his success will mean the success of the second Egyptian republic.”

Nour underlined his hope for "the success of the upcoming government given its delay in formation and amid such critical times for Egypt."    

A swearing-in ceremony took place Thursday at the presidential palace. In a press conference, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil stated that 35 ministries would be part of the incoming government, up from 29 under former premier Kamal El-Ganzouri.

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