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Cairo-Nine new ministers were sworn in to Prime Minister Hashim Qandil’s cabinet recently. This following President Morsi’s reshuffling of the cabinet members by replacing some of the ministers with new ones.  Two of the new ministers are members of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as another, who maintained his position.

 

 

“Yehia Hamed, the new investment minister, is the spokesperson for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), while Amr Darrag, who takes over at the International Cooperation and Planning Ministry, is a member of the Brotherhood’s political bureau and chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party’s Foreign Relations Committee. Ahmed El-Gizawi, the new Minister of Agriculture, is the head of the Agriculture Committee of the FJP,” according to Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.

 

This reshuffling did not satisfy the opposition parties and is a definite cause for concern. As the Muslim Brotherhood continues to secure key positions in government, despondency and anger amongst the people increase.

 

“The spokesperson for the liberal Free Egyptians Party, Shehab Waguih, told Al-Ahram the Brotherhood’s prominent figures continue to control the affairs of the country, saying Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat El-Shater and Hassan Malek continue to control economic affairs, while Presidential Assistant for Foreign Affairs Essam Al-Haddad wields control over the country’s foreign policy,” Daily News reported.

 

In addition to newly appointed ministers in Qandil’s cabinet, some raised concerns over those ministers who maintained their posts despite their poor management of affairs to which they were assigned.  The Ghad Al-Thawra Party expressed its disappointment that Mohammed Ibrahim, Minister of the Interior, was not replaced—saying he “failed to restore security to the streets and lawlessness continues,” reported Daily News. Khaled Alam Eddin, a member of the Salafi Al-Nour Party’s High Commission, was concerned that controversial ministers like the Minister of Information were not removed.

 

Daily News reported, “Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Saad Al-Katatni welcomed the formation of the new cabinet, according to a statement issued by his party. He expressed his full support and said he had called on the FJP to lend full support to the new government to overcome the current transitional phase, and called on all political forces to do the same.”

 

Despite the outrage from his opposition, Morsi—former member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party—continues to fill government positions with members of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as those with political ties to the organization.

 

Morsi is pleased with the newly inducted ministers and invited his fellow countrymen to support them.


The continued influx of Muslim Brotherhood members in government positions presents obvious problems for the liberal, secularist and the non-Muslim minorities because of the absence of representation their newly elected president’s administration. They are concerned that the Brotherhood’s brand of Islam will be imposed upon them and this does little to ease the fears of Egypt’s Christian community who have seen little assistance from Morsi’s administration in matters of crimes committed against them.  Nader Ramadan an Egyptian journalist said, “It seems as if the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to act more or less like the de facto leaders of the country. Once they have complete control of the country, they can use any branch of government to their advantage.” If this happens, there will be nothing anyone can do except tow the Brotherhood line.

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