Egypt Appoints 9 Ministers in Limited Reshuffle

CAIRO (AP) —

Nine new Egyptian ministers joined President Mohammed Morsi’s Cabinet on Tuesday, including two members of his Muslim Brotherhood, in a reshuffle that officials said was aimed at addressing the country’s financial woes and securing a much-needed international loan.

Morsi supporters claim he wants to reach out to other political blocs, yet the Cabinet reshuffle is unlikely to ease Egypt’s political polarization. The opposition complained that they were not consulted on the appointments, and said they would only further the “Brotherhood-ization” of Morsi’s government. Two of the nine new ministers hail from the Brotherhood political party.

The latest reshuffle — the second since Morsi took office in June last year — increases to 10 the number of Brotherhood members in key posts in the 36-seat Cabinet. The previous reshuffle in January nearly doubled the number of Brotherhood members from five to eight. The Cabinet also includes a handful of Islamists and allies of the Brotherhood.

In a statement, Morsi’s office said the Cabinet changes were made to “inject new blood,” including young ministers, at a time when improving the nation’s economic performance and security are a priority for the government. The youngest minister in the reshuffled Cabinet is the new investment minister, 35-year Yehia Hamed, a former Morsi aide and member of the Brotherhood.

“The challenges Egypt faces require concerted and integrated efforts,” Morsi’s statement said.

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