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Egypt's Sisi assigns housing minister to form new govt

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-06-07 21:34

CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday assigned Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouli to form a new government, official Al-Ahram news website reported.

Madbouli will thus become the new prime minister to replace his predecessor Sherif Ismail, who submitted the resignation of his cabinet to Sisi on Tuesday.

The de facto appointment of Madbouli as Egypt's new prime minister came a few days after Sisi was sworn in for a second four-year presidential term.

As the new prime minister, Madbouli will have to name his cabinet ministers and present them to the parliament for approval.

"The new cabinet has to be approved by the majority of parliament members," Nabil al-Gamal, member of the parliament's legislative and constitutional affairs committee, told Xinhua.

He expects Madbouli to present the list of new cabinet ministers to the parliament next week.

As the housing minister, Madbouli has been carrying out huge projects including the ongoing establishment of a new administrative capital city on the outskirts of Cairo, the construction of hundreds of thousands of housing units as well as the building of new cities in several provinces.

Parliamentarian Maged Abul-Khair expects the new government to focus on the development of housing and road networks and the eradication of slums in the coming period.

"I believe President Sisi appointed Madbouli in particular to lead the new government because he has already been involved in these projects," Abul-Khair told Xinhua.

The outgoing government has been implementing a strict three-year austerity economic reform since late 2016.

The reform started with local currency liberalization, followed by fuel and energy subsidy cuts and tax increases to contain the budget deficit, causing price and inflation hikes.

"I expect the new government to continue the same economic reform policies but I hope it could change the way of implementing them to relieve the burdens of low-income people," Abul-Khair said.

Madbouli was appointed as the housing minister in 2014 under former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and continued to hold the post under outgoing Prime Minister Ismail.

He was appointed by Sisi as acting prime minister last November during Ismail's medical trip to Germany.

Egypt's most recent cabinet reshuffle took place in January, involving four ministers of culture, tourism, local development and public enterprise.

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