Cabinet reshuffle possible in March: Govt sources

A high-profile government source has pointed to “consultations among regulatory bodies” for a Cabinet reshuffle in March that could see 10 ministers removed from the government of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.

According to the source, the move will follow the government’s anticipated statement before the House of Representatives on February 27, which will discuss its action plan for the coming period, a step that will be decisive for its continuation in office. The government is constitutionally required to resign if the parliament rejects its platform.

The reshuffle will most likely oust half of the economy-related ministries, as well as the ministers of agriculture, health, education, water resources, antiquities and endowments, the source revealed. The official added that a number of ministries have been “positively evaluated”, including the ministers of housing, international cooperation, social solidarity and “sovereign ministries”, a term understood to mean the ministries of defense, interior and foreign affairs.

The reshuffle will be jointly discussed with parliamentary blocs before the government’s statement.

The official source expected the showdown between the government and MPs to be highly contentious, with the government already proposing reforms designed to reduce the budget deficit through increased prices for basic services, the adoption of value-added taxes and subsidy reductions introduced in 2014.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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