Egypt's Morsi purges cabinet
Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi replaced 10 ministers in his cabinet, moving out some who opposed his policies while naming several Muslim Brotherhood supporters to take their place.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi rebuilt his cabinet Sunday, replacing 10 ministers and amplifying the Islamist presence in the government. The move, in which at least three Islamists were appointed to head major economic ministries, comes a day ahead of a planned visit by a top International Monetary Fund official to discuss an impending $4.8 billion loan.
The shake-up also marked the latest in a series of appointments and forced resignations that have rattled Egypt's government in the two years of political turmoil since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Morsi, as well as the transitional leaders who ruled before his June election, have used cabinet shuffles as a means to assuage popular frustration at the slow pace of economic and political reforms.
Islamist political parties gave their support to the latest move, but some opposition members criticized it, saying it served only to further consolidate Islamist control of top government positions weeks after a conflict over the religious character of Egypt's new constitution left the country bitterly divided.
Mohamed Adel, a leader in the April 6th youth opposition movement, said in a statement Sunday that Morsi's administration had not consulted opposition parties on the move and that the Muslim Brotherhood would bear responsibility for any bad policies to come. Morsi is a former leader of the powerful Islamist organization.
As the government becomes more hardline, the pace of changing Egyptian society will quicken. The Salifis appear to be the driving force behind Sharia law now with the full cooperation of the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi himself has tightened his grip on power and will continue to move toward the kind of dictatorship that Hosni Mubarak could only dream.