Egyptian PM Picks New Finance Minister in Cabinet Reshuffle

Posted July 17th, 2011 at 3:10 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Egypt's military-appointed prime minister has released more details of a Cabinet reshuffle demanded by opposition activists who have camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square for more than a week.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf announced Sunday that he has chosen one of his two newly appointed deputies to serve as finance minister in the reshuffled Cabinet, which is due to be fully unveiled on Monday.

The new finance minister, Hazem el-Biblawi, will replace Samir Radwan, who assumed the post shortly before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February after an uprising against his three decade-long autocratic rule. Prime Minister Sharaf named Biblawi, a veteran economist, as one his two deputies on Saturday.

Mr. Sharaf said he also has appointed new ministers of transport, communications and higher education. Egyptian officials say the prime minister is likely to retain his existing ministers of justice, interior, education and culture.

Egyptian reformists are pressing the military council that replaced Mr. Mubarak to speed up the purging and prosecution of Mubarak-era officials whom they blame for corruption and the killing of almost 900 protesters during the revolution.

In another development, the head of an Egyptian hospital has denied that the 83-year-old former president has fallen into a coma.

Mr. Mubarak's lawyer Farid el-Deeb said Sunday the deposed leader is in a “full coma” after suffering a sudden deterioration in his health at the hospital in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Egyptian state television says the hospital chief denied the lawyer's claim.