It has now become certain that engineer Ibrahim Mahlab, tasked by Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour with forming a new government, will present the final formation next Saturday or Sunday. It appears his arrangement will not include National Salvation Front ministers who made up most of Hazem El-Beblawy’s now resigned government.
Newspaper reports have said that Mahlab permanently removed the following ministers from his government: Dr Hossam Eisa, minister of higher education, Kamal Abu Aita, minister of labour and member of the Dignity Party, Dr Ahmed Al-Borai, minister of social solidarity and justice and former secretary general of the National Salvation front, and Taher Abu Zeid, sports minister and member of Al-Wafd Party.
It is worth noting that former Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy and his deputy, minister of international cooperation Ziad Bahaeddine were both affiliated with the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. Also, Mohamed El-Baradei, interim vice president, was head of the Constitution Front before he resigned from his position in protest of the dispersal of the sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Square.
Others excluded from the cabinet include Hani Mahmoud, minister of administrative development, Mohammed Abdul Muttalib, irrigation minister, Chancellor Adel Abdel Hamid, minister of justice, Ahmad Jalal, minister of finance, engineer Ahmed Imam, minister of electricity, Dr Maha Rabat, health minister, Colonel Abdul Aziz Fadel, minister of civil aviation, and Maj. Gen. Mohammed Abu Shadi, minister of supply.
The only ministers from El-Beblawy’s government that will remain in the new cabinet are Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, defence minister, General Mohammed Ibrahim, minister of the interior, Dr Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, religious endowments minister, Dr Doria Sharaf al-Din, minister of information, Dr Ashraf Al-Arabi, minister of international cooperation and planning, Major General Adel Labib, minister of local development, Hisham Zaazou, minister of tourism, Engineer Sharif Ismail, minister of petroleum, engineer Khaled Abdel Aziz, minister of youth and sports, engineer Atef Helmy, communications minister, Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour, minister of investment and trade, engineer Ayman Farid Abu Hadid, minister of agriculture and land reclamation, Dr Mohamed Ibrahim, minister of antiquities, and Dr Mahmoud Abu Nasr, minister of education.
Mahlab has also added new faces to his government formation, including Dr Mohamed Shaker as minister of electricity, Hossam Kamal as minister of civil aviation, Ibrahim Younis as minister of military production, Nahed Hassan Ashri, minister of manpower and immigration, Ghada Waly as minister of social solidarity, Dr Tariq Qutb as minister of irrigation, Khaled Hanafi as minister of supply, Ashraf Mansour as minister of higher education and scientific research, Mahfouz Saber as minister of justice, Mustafa Al-Mudbola as minister of housing, chancellor Amin El Mahdi as minister of transitional justice and the House of Representatives, Layla Rashid as environment minister, Ashraf Abdel- Wahab as minister of industry, Abdul Hamid Abaza as minister of health, Ahmad Mujahid as minister of culture, and Osama Akil as minister of transport.
He also merged a number of ministries, including the planning and international cooperation ministries and the ministries of higher education and scientific research, the ministries of youth and sport, the administrative and local development ministries, and the ministries of trade and investment.
Mahlab’s new formation was bitterly received by the leaders and members of the National Salvation Front. Leader of the Dignity Party, Mohamed Samy, a party affiliated with the Front, said that the ministers affiliated with the National Salvation Front parties are the ones who were excluded from the new government formation, and he found that to be unsettling. He also said that the Front must hold a meeting to discuss the exclusion of its party’s ministers and the increase of ministers affiliated with the former regime.
It is worth noting that the Front played a major role in overthrowing elected president Mohamed Morsi’s government after forming an alliance of Egyptian political parties to defeat his 22 November 2012 constitutional declaration.