Morsi Appoints New PM
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi appointed Hesham Kandil as his prime minister today, a move that came as a surprise to observers who expected someone with more economic expertise and more experience in general. Kandil received his doctorate in irrigation from the University of North Carolina, and was a bureaucrat with the old regime until the uprising, when he continued to work for the interim government. Reactions have been mixed; while a spokesman for Morsi called Kandil “capable of managing the current situation efficiently and effectively,” but senior Wafd member Yasser Ali said he was “confused” by the choice. “Our problem is an economic one, not water…I believe that they tend to select a weak character so that they can control him, especially in selecting the ministers,” Ali said.
Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq announced that he will be staying in the UAE for “security reasons,” and criticized Morsi for failing so far to form a new government, saying that too many parties are involved in the decision-making process. Shafiq also denied that he is staying away from Egypt to avoid ongoing corruption charges.
The National Journal published poll findings which show that the vast majority of American foreign policy and national security experts do not believe the U.S. should cut off aid to Egypt simply because Morsi’s Islamist party is now in power. Similar numbers of experts also believe that conditioning aid on factors such as progress in ensuring universal rights is an effective tool for foreign policy.