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Sunday, 10 June 2018

Veteran housing minister Mostafa Madbouly tapped as prime minister-designate, will form the next cabinet

Veteran housing minister Mostafa Madbouly tapped as prime minister-designate, will form the next cabinet: Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly was appointed on Thursday as Egypt’s next prime minister by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Madbouly, who has served as housing minister since 2014 in the Mahlab and Ismail cabinets, is presently forming his Council of Ministers. Madbouly’s appointment comes after the Ismail Cabinet resigned last week in a procedural move after El Sisi was sworn in for a second term. El Sisi asked Ismail to lead a caretaker government in the interim.

Not Madbouly’s first rodeo: The PM-designate filled in for Ismail earlier this year when the latter traveled abroad for an extended period of medical treatment. Madbouly also accompanied El Sisi on at least one high-profile foreign trip to Saudi Arabia. Ismail, a former oil minister who as PM stewarded the government through an ambitious economic reform program, has been battling an unspecified illness for more than a year.

Most of the cabinet economic group will remain intact, sources in government tell Al Shorouk, and speculation in the domestic press is that we’ll see 24 faces in the Madbouly cabinet, down from 33 in the outgoing Council of Ministers.

Maait set to enter cabinet? Vice Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, who has been in his post since 2015 and previously served under Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali, has reportedly met with Madbouly, sparking speculation that he will have a cabinet-level portfolio in the new government.

Who’s in and who’s out? Madbouly has already settled on a final list of names for the new lineup, which he is said to have presented to House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal and majority bloc leader Rep. Mohamed El Sewedy. We’re not going to play the usual parlor game, but if you want to read the speculation, we have for you Al Mal and Al Masry Al Youm. The well-connected MP Mostafa Bakry, meanwhile, claims on Twitter that we might see two vice prime ministers.

When will we know? The new cabinet will be appointed this week, we’re told. Speculation in the domestic press is that Madbouly has already sent his first list of candidates to the Administrative Control Authority for review before Ittihadiya receives it. Sources in government claim the swearing in ceremony will take place before the Eid El Fitr break starts this Friday.

The story is receiving widespread coverage in the foreign press, with most, including Reuters and Bloomberg noting the economic accomplishments of the Ismail Cabinet. We’re seeing very little in the way of analysis.

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