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The new Egyptian Prime Minister and cabinet have been sworn in under great controversy. It’s the first government since the election of President Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood, who became the first freely elected president of the country.
The new Prime Minister Hesham Kandil has pledged the Egyptian people to support the new government; he promised it would be a representative government that would not be under the Muslim Brotherhood domain. Most of the new figures are technocratic figures that have nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood, but still the Brotherhood has taken four ministries, including the Ministry of Information.
Many protesters in the past month made the new government taking office very difficult, the protesters camped in Tahrir Square for many days which resulted in a quicker trial for the former president Hosni Mubarak.
The new government will face heavy tasks; the country is facing a lot of troubles because of the tenuous security situation, sectarian violence has erupted in Egypt in the past weeks, tensions are usually between Egypt’s majority Muslims and minority Christians. Almost 10 percent of Egypt’s 82 million people are Christian; the majority of the Egyptians are Muslims. Mubarak’s regime maintained a tight control on Islamists.
Other serious problems the new government will have to face are: widespread power, water outage, and water shortage.
Prime Minister Kandil is aware of the country challenges, at a press conference he stated: “We are all Egyptians in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The coming period is not easy, to say the least, and we are all in the same boat.”
Kandil’s statement was made after a Muslim mob torched Christian homes and damaged the local church in a village south of Cairo. It also was following a police confrontation against protesters who went on a rampage against a luxury hotel in Cairo after the police tried to collect payments; in this chaos a person was killed.
The cabinet has 35 members and includes only two women, one of them Christian. The new Prime Minister is a devout Muslim, this has angered many liberals and leftists, but still Kandil maintains he has no formal link with any Muslim political party. But still Morsi has been criticized for not giving women and Christians more participation in the government.
But these are not all of Egypt problems, the country’s unstable situation has made that more than a half of foreign currency reserves have been taken out in the last 18 months. Also tourism, one of the Egypt’s greatest incomes, is facing hard times.
Image Courtesy of Hossam el-Hamalawy حسام الحملاوي