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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid