Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NEW GOVERNMENT ENTERS AS VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN STREETS OF EGYPT

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT:
33 Interim Ministers include 3 women, 3 Christians and a football star. General al-Sisi holds Defence portfolio and becomes deputy prime minister. The Islamists march demanding the return of Morsi, overnight clashes produce 2 more victims and more than 400 arrests.


Cairo (AsiaNews) - Three women, three Christians, a football star and not a single Islamist: 33 new ministers of the interim government of Egypt are a sign of "national reconciliation" desired by the executive born in the wake of Mohamed Morsi's ouster. This is according to Ahmed el Moslemani, presidential spokesperson, who was speaking immediately after the ceremony, broadcast on state television, during which the transitional executive took office ahead of a new round of elections.

The Finance Ministry went to Ahmad Galal, an experienced economist who worked for years at the World Bank; Foreign Affairs went to the former Egyptian ambassador to Washington Nabil Fahmy; the Interior Ministry remains with Mohamed Ibrahim, as is the case with Osama Saleh, who returns to the post of Minister of Investments, a position he held until May of this year.  The same is the case for the Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - who led the army in the removal of former President Morsi - keeps the Defense portfolio and becomes deputy prime minister.

The three women ministers in the new Egyptian government, led by Hazem el Beblawi, are Doriya Sharaf el Dine, who has been appointed to the Ministry for Information; Laila Rashed Iskandar to the Environment and Maha Zeneddin (a Coptic) to Healthcare. The other two Christians are Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour who has been given Trade and Industry and Ramsi George appointed to Scientific Research.

The new Egyptian Minister of Sports, Taher abuzeid, was instead an Egyptian soccer star: center forward of the most prestigious El Ahly Egyptian team, in the 80s he was a famous striker dubbed the "Maradona of the Nile" . He holds 59 caps with the Egyptian national team and was also summoned for the World Cup in Italy in 1990. He stopped playing in 1996.

There are no Muslim Brotherhood or Salafi representatives in the new government.  The Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan, described the new government as "illegitimate" and the appintment of the President Adly Mansour as "null." However, several sources confirm that "discussions are ongoing" between the Presidency and the Islamic party, which continues to demand the return of Morsi to power.

While the government was being sworn in, clashes between the supporters of the former president and law enforcement officers continued on the streets. Before dawn more than 400 arrests were confirmed, but two people were killed in the violence and an additional 176 were injured. Among them, there are 3 soldiers and 14 police officers.
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