Egypt cabinet reshuffle changes nothing, says former minister

Ahram Online, Thursday 9 May 2013

Former parliamentary affairs minister Mohamed Mahsoub says reshuffle will not bring change in policies required to tackle challenges facing Egypt

Former minister Mohamed Mahsoub
Former minister of legal and parliamentary issues Mohamed Mashoub (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic language news website)

President Morsi's recent cabinet reshuffle was a mere change of personnel that will not alter the government's direction or policies, former parliamentary affairs minister Mohamed Mahsoub has said.

"I believe the cabinet reshuffle is not satisfactory or appropriate, and is not compatible with the people's ambitions and the needs of this phase," Mahsoub, vice president of the Wasat Party, said via Facebook in comments reported by Al-Ahram Arabic news website on Thursday.

"This phase needs a brave government to tackle our security, economic, and social problems. We need leadership to reform the government's institutions.

"This will not happen as long as the policies do not have a vision," he added.

Mahsoub said he hoped the reshuffle would create harmony within the cabinet, rather than just replace certain ministers.

"The change I have hoped for since I resigned from the cabinet in December is a change in the mentalities and policies more than a change of people, whom I respect very much," Mahsoub explained.

In his resignation letter to President Morsi, Mahsoub said many of the government's policies contradicted his personal beliefs and did "not reflect the aspirations of the people after the revolution or the sacrifices they made for it to succeed.”

The second cabinet reshuffle to take place under President Mohamed Morsi and Prime Minister Hisham Qandil was finally announced on Tuesday after weeks of anticipation.

A total of nine ministries changed hands: justice, parliamentary affairs, petroleum, antiquities, agriculture, finance, planning and international cooperation, culture, and investment.

The reshuffle brought three more Brotherhood members into the cabinet as ministers of investment, planning and agriculture.

The National Salvation Front – the largest opposition umbrella group – has frequently complained that the government is dominated by the Brotherhood and made the formation of a new government, which will guarantee unbiased electoral supervision, a condition for its participation in the next parliamentary elections.

"This was not the reshuffle Egyptians had called for," spokesperson for the liberal Free Egyptians Party Shehab Wagih told Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website on Tuesday. 

President Morsi formed his first cabinet under Qandil in July 2012, almost three weeks after he became president. He carried out his first government reshuffle in January 2013, replacing ten ministers, with the new arrivals including two Brotherhood members.

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