CAIRO: Several government ministries were coupled on Saturday after the unexpected Cabinet reshuffle last week, where former housing minister now Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab appointed a new government at the request of President Adly Mansour.
Two of the mergers were announced earlier in February and confirmed on Saturday. First, the ministry of international cooperation took over the ministry of planning under the incumbent minister at the former, Ashraf al-Arabi. Second, the ministries of youth and sport joined under the minister of the former, Khaled Abdel Aziz.
An additional three groupings have taken place in Mahlab’s new government.
Incumbent ministers run two of those: Minister of State for Local Development Adel Labib now also heads administrative development; and Minister of Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour also runs investment.
One new appointment, Wael al- Degwy, will oversee the combined ministries of higher education and scientific research.
A number of politicians and parties welcomed the mergers as a good decision to reduce state expenses, especially given the current struggling economy.
In his first televised speech as prime minister on Sunday, Mahlab said that the government would continue to work on development projects and would work towards creating a proper political and democratic atmospher, stressing that he is aware of the challenges that face the new government.
Interim President Adly Mansour assigned former Minister of Housing Ibrahim Mahlab to appoint the new government after former Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy submitted his resignation on Feb. 24 in a statement broadcasted on state television.