El-Ganzouri announces cabinet reshuffle; new culture minister to be appointed

Farah Montasser, Thursday 10 May 2012

Ministers of culture, higher education, manpower and parliamentary affairs to be replaced in cabinet reshuffle, says Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri Wednesday

Photo by Al-Ahram Daily

Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri announced Wednesday that the ministers of culture, higher education, manpower and immigration, and parliamentary affairs would be replaced in a cabinet reshuffle.

The announcement came after repeated demands by parliament that the government be dismissed for its failure to manage the country effectively.

In late April, Saad El-Katatni, speaker of the People's Assembly, suspended the body for one week in protest at 'the failures of the government' and to demand the appointment of a new cabinet.

However, the SCAF refused to dismiss the government and tensions continued to grow, especially among Muslim Brotherhood MPs. After last week's clashes in Abbasiya, Brotherhood MPs again asked for a ministerial reshuffle and threatened to issue a no-confidence vote in the government.

Minister of Culture Shaker Abdel-Hamid asked the prime minister to be among the reshuffled ministers, according to the Middle East News Agency (MENA).

"With all devotion and dedication during this difficult period over nearly six months, I am happy with how the ministry has improved," Abdel-Hamid was quoted as saying by the MENA.

"First and foremost I am an intellectual and I am happy to be regaining my freedom and returning to my cultural projects, books, and writing."

According to speculation, the new culture minister could be either Ahmed Megahed, head of the General Egyptian Book Organisation, or Saber El-Arab, former president of the National Library and Archives. Mohamed El-Nashar, the head of Helwan University, is among the candidates considered for higher education minister, while Ahmed Refaat is being considered for the manpower job.

Megahed has denied rumours that he had been offered the culture job. "I haven't received any official calls regarding the matter," he told the Al-Ahram Arabic website Thursday morning.  

The new ministers will be appointed soon, according to Al-Ahram Arabic.

Short link: