News / Middle East

El-Sissi Reappoints PM to Fix Economy

From left, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Egyptian interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Grand Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's premier Islamic institution, leave the inauguration ceremony for President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, June 8, 2014.
From left, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Egyptian interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Grand Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's premier Islamic institution, leave the inauguration ceremony for President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, June 8, 2014.
Reuters
Newly inaugurated President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi reappointed Egypt's prime minister on Monday, signaling continuity as he sets out to fix the economy and overcome political divisions after a long period of turmoil and bloodshed.
 
In comments carried by the state news agency, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said the current government would stay on in a caretaker role until he forms a new cabinet.

Consultations had not yet begun, he said, although officials have said many of the leading ministers such as finance are likely to be unchanged.
 
Sissi, who as armed forces chief toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July following mass protests, was sworn in on Sunday in a ceremony with low-key attendance by Western allies concerned by a crackdown on dissent.
 
While Sissi quit the military in March, a lower-than-expected turnout in last month's presidential elections fell short of giving him a strong mandate to take tough measures to repair an economy wounded by three years of instability and regular  violence which has scared away foreign investors and tourists.
 
Put reforms in place

Keeping the main ministers in place could allow Sissi to  implement quickly the kind of reforms that the United Arab Emirates - one of the Gulf Arab states that gave Egypt billions of dollars in aid after Morsi's fall - has been encouraging.
 
Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle East Studies at the London School of Economics, said Sissi had to tackle the problems that are undermining Egyptians' living standards and state finances.
 
“He knows that he has a one year honeymoon and that's why he has to deliver in terms of jobs, in terms of lowering inflation, in terms of the debt,” he said. “That's why he's keeping Mahlab in place and that's why he's keeping the major portfolios."
 
One of the most important figures in Egypt's drive to resuscitate the economy is Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian, who is expected to stay on in the new administration.
 
Educated at Columbia University in the United States, he was described by a senior European diplomat as the only ministry expert able to deal professionally with the International Monetary Fund during a failed attempt under Morsi to secure a $4.8 billion loan.
 
Reuters reported on Friday that Western consultants were advising Egypt's government - apparently with Sisi's blessing - on an economic reform plan which could serve as a basis for restarting talks on a IMF loan deal.
 
The driving force behind the consulting project is the UAE, which along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has showered Egypt with aid totalling more than $12 billion in cash and petroleum products since Morsi's removal.
 
Muslim Brotherhood

As de facto ruler since last summer, Sisi has driven Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood underground with a crackdown in which hundreds of its supporters have been killed and thousands jailed, polarizing the most populous Arab nation.
 
However, Egypt's oldest and best organized Islamist movement has survived official repression for decades. Sisi also faces a violent threat from militants based in the Sinai peninsula who are believed to have access to weapons smuggled from chaotic Libya. These have stepped up attacks on police and soldiers since Sisi ousted Morsi.
 
Mahlab, 65, was appointed prime minister in February after  serving previously in housing portfolio. A civil engineer, he is a former chairman of Arab Contractors, one of the region's largest construction companies, and worked briefly in Saudi Arabia before joining the government following Morsi's overthrow.
 
The Egyptian pound strengthened slightly at a central bank sale on Monday to 7.1402 pounds to the dollar from 7.1403 at its last sale on Thursday, and it remained steady on the parallel market.
 
The gap between the pound's rates on the official and black markets has narrowed markedly since Sisi's election, with the currency appreciating markedly against the dollar at unofficial rates.
 
Egypt's benchmark stock index closed up 1.1 percent.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid