Jama’a al-Islamiya, April 6 attack Cabinet reshuffle

Both the Jama'a al-Islamiya and April 6 Youth Movement criticized the limited Cabinet reshuffle.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Mohamed al-Nashar would be appointed as Minister of Higher Education, Mohamed Saber Arab as Minister of Culture, Omar Salem as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, and Refaat Hassan as Minister of Manpower.

The change was made in an attempt to resolve the crisis that broke out between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Islamist parties that dominate parliament headed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. The SCAF refused to fire Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, citing the short amount of time until the transfer of power to a new president. Parliament insisted on the government’s dismissal after rejecting a February briefing by Ganzouri, in which he reviewed his cabinet’s plan of action before the assembly.

MP Amir Abdel Rahim, a spokesman for the Construction and Development Party, the political wing of the Jama’a al-Islamiya, said the change was “an underestimation of the political forces that shocked the Egyptian people.” He said the ministries that were changed were not targeted by the demands for change. He accused the current government of deliberately causing crises and problems and impeding any progress.

He said that despite this, his party would not continue to clash with the government in light of the critical phase the country is currently passing through.

“We made an offer for this to be merely a caretaker government, in order to avoid any embarrassment while removing any burdens, assignments or duties from it and to refrain from exercise a monitoring role over it,” said Abdel Rahim. “In exchange, it was not to make any fateful decisions that could damage the next government. However, this offer was rejected.”

Meanwhile, a splinter group of April 6, the Democratic Front, said the change was made to allow parliament to “to save face” after it suspended sessions for a week to demand the government’s resignation.

The movement’s media spokesman, Tareq al-Kholi, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that “The movement currently rejects the Cabinet reshuffle given the preparations for the presidential elections slated for 23 and 24 May.”

He added by saying “the dismissal of the entire government would do greater harm than benefit to Egypt’s interests.”

“The Movement's rejection of the reshuffle does not mean we are satisfied with the Ganzouri Cabinet,” he said pointing out that they are “completely dissatisfied with its performance but that they prefer it remains until the end of the elections.”

The new ministers were sworn in on Thursday morning.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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