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Abul-Naga dismisses reports of looming Egypt Cabinet shake-up

By-Ahram | 1 May 2012

Fayza Abul Naga, Egyptian minister of international cooperation, confirmed at a Monday press conference that there were no plans for a cabinet reshuffle, despite recent reports to the contrary. "I ask those who propagate rumours to fear God," the minister said.

Her statement came after Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported on Sunday that Parliament Speaker Saad El-Katatni had said he had received a telephone call from Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council, informing him of an imminent cabinet reshuffle within 48 hours.
 
Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri reportedly visited the military council's headquarters shortly after the council had announced its intention to shake up the current Cabinet. A source quoted in Al-Ahram's Arabic-language website described the looming reshuffle as "limited," saying it would include new ministers from Islamist-oriented and other parties currently represented in Parliament.
 
Earlier on Sunday, El-Katatni had announced the suspension of all scheduled sessions of the People's Assembly – the lower house of Egypt's parliament – until 6 May. The move was reportedly taken to protest the continuance of the El-Ganzouri government against the wishes of the parliamentary majority.
 
On 24 April, the People's Assembly rejected the government's economic and political programme, but stopped short of taking any concrete steps towards withdrawing confidence from the incumbent Cabinet. According to last year's constitutional declaration, only the ruling military council – not parliament – enjoys the authority to withdraw confidence from the government.
 
The fate of the El-Ganzouri government is only part of an ongoing dispute between the military council and the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Brotherhood's FJP has been demanding for weeks that the parliamentary majority be allowed to form a new government, the military council has consistently rejected the demand.
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