Egypt Swearing In New Cabinet With Mubarak Holdovers

Posted August 2nd, 2012 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has defended his selections for the new 35-minister Cabinet, which includes key positions for holdovers from former President Hosni Mubarak's era.

The prime minister told a news conference Thursday he chose ministers based on competence. State-run television says he also called for unity and urged Egyptians to work together for a “bright future.”

The Cabinet includes Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. He will keep his job as defense minister in the country's first government since Mr. Mubarak's resignation last year. He served under Mr. Mubarak and also ruled the country after the former leader's departure.

Other incumbents who will keep their positions include Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Said.

Prime Minister Qandil served as irrigation minister in the outgoing military-backed government.

The transition comes after 18 months of political turmoil and a power struggle between Mr. Morsi and the ruling military that took over when a popular uprising forced Mubarak from office.

The military will retain broad powers until the country elects a new parliament.