Hisham Qandil (left) meets Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during a visit to Baghdad on March 4, 2013
Hisham Qandil (left) meets Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during a visit to Baghdad in March. Egypt's Prime Minister says a cabinet reshuffle of 11 ministerial changes will be announced by Tuesday morning, in a move which falls short of opposition demands and bolsters the ruling Islamists. © - - AFP
Hisham Qandil (left) meets Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during a visit to Baghdad on March 4, 2013
AFP
Last updated: May 6, 2013

Egyptian cabinet reshuffle by Tuesday morning, says prime minister

Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said a cabinet reshuffle of 11 ministerial changes will be announced by Tuesday morning, in a move which falls short of opposition demands and bolsters the ruling Islamists.

The opposition had demanded a unity government and Qandil's sacking, but a partial list of new ministers published by the official MENA agency includes at least one affiliated with President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

The ministries affected include oil, higher education and agriculture, official news agency MENA reported. A replacement will be named for the justice minister, Ahmed Mekky, who resigned.

Morsi promised the reshuffle last month after months of pressure from the opposition, but the changes fall short of their demands for a complete overhaul and Qandil's dismissal.

"The reshuffle will take place today or by tomorrow morning at the latest," Qandil told state television.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement already has seven ministers, or less than a third of the cabinet. Its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) had also called for a reshuffle to gain more seats.

According to MENA, senior FJP member Amr Darrag may become the new higher education minister.

Morsi has repeatedly declared his confidence in Qandil, whose sacking is demanded by a coalition of opposition groups who accuse him of having mismanaged Egypt's dire economy.

The opposition has set his departure as a condition for dropping a boycott of parliamentary elections, possibly in the autumn.

The opposition's protracted deadlock with Morsi has delayed a much needed $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Qandil's government, appointed after Morsi's election in June, has tried to cope with a battered economy despite billions of dollars in aid from energy-rich Qatar and some other countries.

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