Cairo: Almost a month after President Mohamed Morsi took office, Egypt's newly-appointed Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and his Cabinet were sworn-in on Thursday.
Though the new Cabinet was constituted so as to avoid reflecting dominance of Brotherhood, still four ministries were ceded to Brotherhood members.
The Cabinet included several members of the out-going, military-picked government and other technocratic figures.
Qandil’s new cabinet replaces the one appointed by the military, which took charge after a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year and which still has broad powers after formally transferring control to Morsi.
In a sign of the military's continuing influence, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi was retained as the defense minister. Also, Mumtaz al-Said who was Finance Minister in military-ruled government, will retain his post.
The new government comes at a time when tensions are mounting over the country's tenuous security, recent sectarian violence and growing popular discontent over issues such as widespread power and water outages as well as shortages.
At a press conference before the swearing in, Kandil noted the country's "grave challenges."
The line-up of the 35-member Cabinet falls far short of the unity government that Morsi had initially said he would put together, bringing together political factions. Instead, the members were largely technocrats. And many will be looking to see how many of the new ministers, while not Brotherhood members, are Islamists or sympathetic to the movement to gain a real picture of the government's diversity.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Thursday, August 02, 2012, 09:55