New Egypt PM begins reappointments, Sisi to remain as defense minister

Published February 26th, 2014 - 11:36 GMT
Sisi has yet to officially announce his bid for the presidency in the country's upcoming election (File Archive/AFP)
Sisi has yet to officially announce his bid for the presidency in the country's upcoming election (File Archive/AFP)

Egypt's army chief field marshal Abdel Fattah Al Sisi will remain as defense minister in the new government, an official source told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.

"He is expected to continue in his post until all the issues regarding the election laws are resolved," the source said.

Sisi is widely expected to win the forthcoming presidential election but has yet to formally announce his candidacy. He must vacate the position of defense minister in order to run

Egyptian Prime Minister-designate Ibrahim Mahlab also reappointed three ministers in his new government.

Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim, Oil Minister Sherif Ismail and Planning Minister Ashraf Al Arabi were reappointed on Wednesday but there was no immediate word on who would take the defense ministry, held by army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in the outgoing cabinet.

Egypt's army-backed interim government resigned unexpectedly on Monday. Mahlab was appointed on Tuesday to form a new government.

In a press conference held shortly after his appointment, Mahlab said he hopes to form a new cabinet within three or four days.

Mahlab said his cabinet members will be “holy warriors” in the service of Egyptians and added that restoring security in the country will be a top priority.

“We will work together to restore security and safety to Egypt and crush terrorism in all corners of the country,” he said.

Mahlab, a former official in deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, is a civil engineer who formerly served as chairman and CEO of Arab Contractors Company, a large Egyptian civil engineering firm.


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