Cabinet reshuffle in Egypt

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi reshuffled the nation’s government on 7 May, increasing his Muslim Brotherhood party's share to 10 of the cabinet's 35 members.

Two of the nine new ministers named in the reshuffle of prime minister Hisham Kandil's government will replace two former ministers have failed so far in their efforts to negotiate a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Until now Kandil's administration has been struggling to reach an agreement with the IMF whose loan requirements would include the implementation of austerity measures.

Morsi first signalled the proposed cabinet changes on 20 April amid increasing criticism over his government's failure to spur the nation's flagging economy after his nine months in office.

However, the reshuffle was met with a hostile response from opposition leader and former presidential candidate Amr Moussa who questioned whether the new line-up reflected "another step toward complete Brotherhoodization".

The opposition had hoped that the government of technocrat-appointed Kandil might be replaced by a more neutral cabinet to oversee parliamentary elections later this year.

The new ministers include three members of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP): Amr Darrag (planning), Yehya Hamed (investment), and Ahmed el-Gezawi (agriculture).

Fayyad Abdel Moneim, a specialist in Islamic economics, will head the finance ministry.

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