Members of Egypt’s New Cabinet Revealed
New prime minister Hisham Qandil met with President Morsi Tuesday to finalize the list of names chosen by the new PM to fill the next cabinet. On Wednesday some of those names were revealed, including two prominent members of the Freedom and Justice Party and six members of the SCAF’s previous government, headed by Kamal El-Ganzouri. The controversial interior ministry position has been filled by Ahmed Gamal Eddin. According to Al Ahram, “Eddin was one of the aides of former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, as well as head of public security authority, responsible of gathering information.”
In addition, the Constituent Assembly announced that it is considering lengthening the president’s term to five years to match that of members of parliament. The assembly also intends to overturn the allocation of “50 percent of parliamentary seats to farmers and workers and reduce the number of members appointed to the Shura Council — as opposed to elected — to 20, as opposed to one-third of the total seats,” the Egypt Independent reports.
Meanwhile, President Morsi freed 17 Islamists that had been jailed for militancy during the Mubarak era. The Islamists’ lawyer said many of the pardoned prisoners had been in jail since the 1990s, and several had been condemned to death. That same day, anti-Islamist activists released a statement calling for a second revolution against the president, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Freedom and Justice Party. The statement claimed that the SCAF had supported the demands of the people, but that after Islamists seized power they forced the real revolutionaries to step aside.
Also, according to Shadi Hamid, the real losers in the aftermath of the revolution were the Egyptian liberals. Hamid argued that the most recent anti-American turn has taken on an increasingly conspiratorial bent. The growing notion that the United States was behind the rise of Islamist powers is particularly troubling because it represents “Egyptian liberals’ growing ambivalence and even opposition to democratic rule. The rise of what we might call “undemocratic liberals” is threatening Egypt’s fledgling democracy.”