Economy, security, judicial independence priorities of revamped Egypt govt: PM

Ahram Online, Sunday 6 Jan 2013

PM Qandil says Egypt's newly-reshuffled cabinet would focus on bolstering economy; providing security; ensuring judicial independence; and creating country based on law

Egypt's Prime minister, Hisham Qandil (Photo: Reuters)

At a press conference held following the swearing-in of ten new government ministers on Sunday before President Mohamed Morsi, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil laid out a number of government objectives.

"The president has asserted that there was no going back on democracy; however, it is necessary to begin the work at hand and national production," said Qandil. He added that the main goals of the cabinet in the coming phase were stabilising the economy, establishing security, ensuring judicial independence and creating a country based on law.

He added that the president was keen on establishing social justice while focusing on both the economic situation, especially foreign investment in Egypt.

Qandil went on to express his gratitude to outgoing ministers that had been changed in the partial cabinet reshuffle announced on Saturday.

The prime minister, however, warned of the obstacles that lay ahead. "There is no doubt that establishing security will bring economic stability."

Qandil added that the government would coordinate with the Shura Council (the upper, consultative house of Egypt's parliament) until members of a new House of Representatives could be elected.

Egypt's second post-revolution parliamentary elections are slated to be held 60 days after the approval of the new constitution, which happened on 25 December of last year. A date for the upcoming polls has yet to be officially set.

The prime minister also revealed that a number of new draft laws were currently under consideration, including legislation regulating the functioning of the House of Representatives. The proposed law will be finalised on Sunday before being referred to the Shura Council and the High Constitutional Court for approval.

At the press conference, Qandil emphasised the government's need to promote agricultural activity, resolve farmers' longstanding grievances and raise national agricultural production, especially of wheat.

Preparations were also being considered regarding anticipated increases in demand for electricity during this year's summer season, added Qandil.

Qandil further promised that the cabinet would pursue a novel strategy to reach its objectives and would work on better communicating with the media and Egypt's political opposition.

"The cabinet was unfairly accused of not accomplishing anything on the ground," said Qandil, who stressed that the government was working for "all Egyptians" and not simply for one party or political orientation.

The ten new ministers took the oath of office on Sunday morning before President Morsi.

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