30 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/03/2012
EGYPT
New cabinet has no leading figure from the Jasmine Revolution
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil's new government took the oath of office yesterday afternoon. It includes two women ministers, one Christian. Under Mubarak though, there were two Christians. Arab spring figures and Salafists are not in the cabinet. Egyptian Church spokesman underscores the temporal limits of the new administration (six months) and criticises the presence of a single Copt. The Muslim Brotherhood's apparent sign of pluralism is designed to reassure public opinion and prepare its new push for power in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "The government of newly-appointed Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has only one Christian member, none of its members took part in the Jasmine Revolution, and too many of them are leftovers from the old regime. The government itself is set to last six months. Many questions are being asked about an Islamist-led Egypt," Fr Church spokesman Rafic Greiche said. He spoke to AsiaNews about Egypt's new cabinet, the second after the fall of Mubarak, the first of President Morsi. For the clergyman, the jury is still out on the new government. On the positive side, it has two women, its average age is around 45-55, it has few members from the Muslim Brotherhood and no Salafist. On the negative side, it has not allayed concerns people have.

Hisham Qandil's cabinet took the oath of office yesterday afternoon in front of President Mohammed Morsi. It includes 31 ministers chosen by the prime minister and approved by the president. Four additional ministers, including the minister of civil aviation, will be personally appointed by the president in a few days time.

Two women, Nadia Zakhary and Nagwa Khalil, are members of the cabinet. The first is a Copt and a professor of biochemistry and tumour biology. She will be the minister of Scientific Research, a post she occupied in the previous Ganzhouri administration. The second held a position at the National Centre for Social and Criminological Research and was a member of the fact-finding committee that investigated the January 2011 uprising. She will be the minister of Insurance and Social Affairs.

For the first time, the cabinet will have only one Christian member, Fr Greiche noted. "Since President Nasser's time, cabinets had two, sometimes even three Christian members."

After his appointment as prime minister, Qandil said that his cabinet would be representative of Egyptian society, Christians included. Zachary's choice is a way to reassure public opinion.

To avoid criticism and speculation, the prime minister picked people for their expertise, leaving out political leaders from parties that were born with the Jasmine Revolution.

"The Muslim Brotherhood has never believed in the Jasmine Revolution," the priest said. "The exclusion of political figures that played a leading role in the demonstrations is a sign of how false Islamist statements were. They rode the wave of protests only to win votes and gain power. Instead of figures from secular parties, they chose members of the old regime."

In fact, some of the new ministers are cronies from old Mubarak's regime, including General Hussein Tantawi, head the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who will remain Defence minister.

All in all, seven ministers will continue from the outgoing military-appointed cabinet, including Mumtaz al-Said, who will serve as Finance minister, and Mohammed Kamal Amr, who stays on as Foreign Affairs minister. Former prime minister Kamal Ganzouri becomes a presidential adviser.

The choice of non-aligned technocrats has reduced the role of Islamists and kept Salafists out altogether. Only four are members of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) have received a cabinet post. The FJP, which is the president's party, won the recent parliamentary elections. The parliament itself was dissolved in June.

After the controversy over the possible appointment of a minister from its ranks, the Salafist al-Nour party quit the government, casting doubts about the links between the Muslim Brotherhood and its former "allies".

Still, Salafists could join the government when a new parliament will be elected in February, Fr Greiche noted. Excluding them now could be a way not to scare Egyptians and especially the international community.

What is more, the Salafist view of Islam differs from that of the Muslim Brotherhood. By excluding them, the difference is made that more visible, and could become even more so in the future.

"In Egypt, everybody is aware that the 2011 election alliances were only a solution to gain votes," he added.

For the spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, now the question is what the new government will do.

"In these six months, we shall see whether the new government intends to change the country. What choices will the new ministers make? Will be they the expression of Morsi's much vaunted pluralism or will they embody the will of the Muslim Brotherhood?" (S.C.)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/08/2013 EGYPT
Morsi appoints nine Islamists to key ministries
01/15/2014 EGYPT - ISLAM
Second day of voting for new Egyptian constitution. Yesterday, 9 dead
11/04/2013 EGYPT
Egypt: Morsi trial a “sign of change for the country"
08/08/2013 EGYPT
Egypt PM issues ultimatum, telling Muslim Brotherhood to leave protest camps
07/17/2013 EGYPT
Fighting rages on Cairo streets as new government sworn in

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.