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Ali: cabinet change not imminent

Presidential spokesman denies immediate plans to sack Qandil government, says Al-Nour initiative will be discussed

Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil. (AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)
Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil (AFP PHOTO)

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali denied that President Mohamed Morsi would form a new cabinet in the imminent future.

In a telephone interview on the program Masr Al-Gedida with Moataz Al-Damerdash on Hayat 2, Ali referred to Hesham Qandil’s government as “patriotic” and “honest.” If the president’s government is not sacked, changes to the cabinet are likely to come after elections for the House of Representatives.

Morsi’s spokesman conducted his interview while clashes ensued outside the presidential palace on Monday night between some demonstrators and Central Security Forces (CSF). Ali said the presidency was closely following the developments and he condemned the escalation of violent demonstrations, especially those directed at government buildings and institutions.

Egypt’s new constitution stipulates that the president selects the prime minister, who then forms a cabinet within 30 days. After the cabinet presents its platform to the House of Representatives, the legislative body votes to determine the fate of the proposed prime minister. If not approved by the House of Representatives, the president selects another prime minister, this time from the party with the most seats, and the process is repeated.

If the selection is voted down for a second time, the House of Representatives selects its own Prime Minister. If the house disapproves of that candidate’s cabinet and platform, then the House of Representatives is dissolved.

Qandil and his government have undergone much scrutiny and criticism in recent months. The National Salvation Front (NSF) and the Salafi Al-Nour party have called for the sacking of Morsi’s cabinet, to be replaced with a neutral “national salvation” government that would focus on the economy and prepare for free and fair parliamentary elections.

Al-Nour party met with Morsi earlier this week and discussed its initiative. The presidency said their demands would be discussed in ongoing national dialogue sessions, which are being boycotted by the NSF, between the presidency and various political groups.


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