CAIRO: Nine new Egyptian ministers took oath of office on Tuesday before President Mohammed Mursi, bringing two new members of his Muslim Brotherhood into top economic posts in a limited cabinet shuffle officials said was aimed at the country’s financial woes and securing a much-needed international loan.
But despite statements from Mursi’s allies that claimed he wished to reach out to the other political blocs, the shuffle is unlikely to reduce Egypt’s political polarisation.
The opposition said they were not consulted on the appointments that they say merely further the “Brotherhoodization” of Morsi’s government.
The shuffle, the second since Mursi took office in June last year, includes the finance, oil, planning and investment portfolios. It does not touch security posts like the Interior Ministry, in charge of police, and Prime Minister Hesham Kandil, who liberals and leftists as well as some hardliners say should be replaced, kept his job.
It also appoints a new justice minister, Ahmed Suleiman, who according to biographies published in the media was a member of a group opposing a judicial boycott on a controversial Mursi-backed constitutional referendum in December.
New finance minister Fayad Ibrahim is an expert in sukuk, bonds that claim to be compliant with Islamic Shariah law. Mursi’s government is pushing sukuk as a way to attract investment.