Replacing PM Qandil is essential: Strong Egypt Party

Ahram Online, Thursday 25 Apr 2013

Cabinet reshuffle must include prime minister, interior and finance ministers, says party led by Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh

Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil speaks at a press conference (Photo: Reuters)

The Strong Egypt Party has criticised President Morsi's intention to restrict an impending cabinet reshuffle to particular ministries, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reports.

The party, which is led by moderate Islamist leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, condemned the anticipated shake-up for not incorporating the interior and finance portfolios despite what it perceives as deteriorating conditions in both areas.

The party confirmed in a Wednesday statement that the presidential office had asked it to recommend some candidates for the imminent ministerial restructuring.

On Monday, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said a cabinet reshuffle would be announced early next week, but declined to give details.

Qandil's remarks followed President Morsi's statement during an interview with Al Jazeera that Egypt's cabinet would be reshuffled "soon." On Wednesday, the presidency stated Qandil would keep his job.

The party statement said it was imperative to replace PM Qandil with someone capable of meeting the challenges Egypt currently faces.

Egypt's opposition has long accused Qandil of incompetence and demanded he and his government be replaced.

On Sunday, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki resigned in advance of the reshuffle in which he was expected to be replaced, state media reported.

The ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party has also condemned the planned reshuffle. It refused to recommend candidates to the presidency and said the restructuring was infeasible, state-run MENA news agency reported on Thursday.

In a Thursday statement, the party reiterated calls for an entirely new government which has a clear vision to tackle the country's current malaise.

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