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Egypt: New Government in June

A new government will be sworn-in in Egypt next month, and presiding Prime Minister ‘Atif ‘Ubeid might lose his post to Information Minister ‘Safwat A-Sharif, reports the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal.

The Political Affairs Committee of the ruling party (The National Party) met on May 29 to discuss the current situation and the possibility of replacing ‘Ubeid. At the end of the meeting, the committee concluded that A-Sharif is the favorite candidate to become prime minister. The committee sent its conclusion to the president for his consideration.

The Political Affairs Committee is considered the most powerful body in the ruling party, and is headed by President Hosni Mubarak’s son, Gamal Mubarak.

The performance of the current government has come under increasing criticism from many in Egypt. “Our internal situation is in serious need of reform in all sectors…We must return to focusing on internal issues after the massive and unprecedented deterioration in the economic, social, cultural, and even sport spheres,” said the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram’s Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Nafi’.

Nafi’ is considered a close confidante of President Mubarak. Specialists say his fierce attack on the government might suggest the prime minister will indeed be replaced.

In the event that ‘Safwat A-Sharif becomes prime minister, he may also keep the information portfolio. Another option is that a member of the Political Affairs Committee will be assigned to this post.