Egypt swears in new cabinet

Cairo: Egypt swore in a new cabinet on Thursday, replacing key ministers including finance, defence and interior in a major reshuffle after President Abdel Fattah al-Al Sissi won a second term in office.

The new cabinet marks the broadest shake-up in Egypt’s government since Al Sissi first took office in 2014, as the Western- allied nation grapples with an Islamist insurgency and tries to put the economy back on track after years of turbulence since 2011 protests toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak.

Mohammad Ahmad Zaki was named as minister of defence, replacing Sedki Sobhi, who has overseen Egypt’s efforts to quash an Islamist militant insurgency in the Sinai peninsula that has seen scores of security forces killed in recent years.

Mahmoud Tawfik was appointed minister of interior, replacing Magdi Abdul Ghaffar, who has held the post since 2015.

Mohammad Maait, deputy finance minister in the outgoing cabinet, was promoted to minister, replacing Amr Al Garhy, who has helped to lead economic reforms tied to Egypt’s three-year $12 billion IMF loan programme.

Other key changes include Amr Adl Bayoumi appointed minister of trade and Ezz Al Deen Abu Steit to minister of agriculture.

Al Sissi won re-election in April with 97 per cent of the vote after a campaign season that saw a top challenger jailed and all other serious contenders pull out.