Egypt’s Morsy to announce Cabinet reshuffle

President Mohamed Morsy is set to announce a Cabinet reshuffle, a presidential aide said Saturday, but it is unlikely to meet opposition demands for a complete overhaul of the government. 

Morsy wrote on his Twitter account that he would make "a ministerial change" and replace governors, adding the posts would go to "those who are most qualified." 

A presidential palace official said Morsy's quote was taken from an interview that will be aired Saturday night on the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television channel. 

A senior presidential aide said Morsy may announce the changes by the end of the week.

"There will be six to eight ministers, and wide-ranging changes among governors," he said. 

"The ministries that will be affected include some important ones," he added. "I can't mention which ones because, as you know, this is a sensitive matter."

Morsy has repeatedly declared his confidence in Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, whose dismissal is demanded by a coalition of opposition groups as a condition for dropping a boycott of parliamentary elections, possibly in the fall.

Egyptian newspapers have reported that Morsy may replace Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky and other less prominent ministers.

The opposition remains steadfast in its demand for a national unity government, in a protracted deadlock with Morsy that has delayed a much-needed US$4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

A senior government source had previously said a Cabinet reshuffle would be announced soon, changing five ministers, including Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, Culture Minister Saber Arab, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Omar Salem and Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky, in addition to 10 governors, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The independent paper said Arab wishes to leave public office, while Salem resigned for health conditions, and that the source, who asked not to be named, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Qandil had been in talks with the president's office over a limited Cabinet shuffle for two days, explaining the action is intended to calm the street, which has disapproved of the Cabinet's recent performance.

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