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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid