Egypt’s Sisi Swears In New Government

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has sworn in a new government, Egypt's state news agency reported Saturday, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The new government was appointed one week after the previous Cabinet resigned amid a corruption probe and will be headed by former Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail.

The appoint comes after state-friendly media slammed the performance of Ismail’s predecessor Ibrahim Mehleb and prosecutors began investigating several officials for allegedly receiving over $1 million in bribes.

Local media accused Mehleb and his ministers of incompetence and being out of touch with the public.

The accusations stood in contrast to coverage of Al-Sisi, the former general and defense minister who led the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. He has cultivated an image as a leader who is above the political fray and is routinely praised by Egyptian media.

Egypt, whose governments have long been plagued by corruption allegations, has been in turmoil since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

Al-Sisi reported told the new government to "double the pace of work and finish national projects on time."

The president is overseeing a series of ambitious projects to revive Egypt's battered economy, including developing roads, building a million housing units and the recent expansion of the Suez Canal.

With the new government, Al-Sisi also restructured the Cabinet, merging several ministries and forming a new body responsible for immigration.

In August, it was announced that Egypt will hold its parliamentary election starting on October 18-19, marking the final step in a process to bring back democracy that critics say has been tainted by widespread repression. 

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, dominated at the time by the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood. 

The election was due to begin in March but was delayed after a court ruled part of the election law unconstitutional. 

Bound by the constitution, Egypt's new government must submit its resignation once the new parliament convenes in December, following upcoming parliamentary elections, noted AP. According to local media reports, the inherently short-term nature of the current Cabinet prompted some ministerial candidates to decline offers to join.

Also on Saturday, Al-Sisi appointed Nabil Sadeq as Egypt's chief prosecutor. A car bomb killed Sadeq's predecessor Hisham Barakat in an upscale Cairo neighborhood over two months ago, in the first assassination of a senior official in 25 years.

Barakat led the prosecution of members of the Brotherhood and other Islamists, including Morsi.

Since Morsi's fall, Egypt has been battling an Islamic insurgency. Once limited to the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, where the leading terrorist group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, attacks have struck the mainland in recent months.

In addition, there has been a crackdown on Islamists in Egypt. Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of alleged Brotherhood supporters to death during the crackdown, many in mass trials condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as violating international law.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/200846

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