Egypt Swears In New Government


FILE - In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, presides over the swearing in of Prime Minister Sheriff Ismail, in Cairo, Sept. 12, 2015.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi swore in a new government Saturday.

Former Petroleum Minister Sheriff Ismail is the new prime minister.

Several ministers, including the ministers of finance, interior and defense, kept their posts in the new government.

Last Saturday, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and his Cabinet resigned in the face of intense media criticism and a widening corruption investigation that saw the agriculture minister arrested recently on corruption charges.

The new government will be responsible for overseeing long-delayed parliamentary elections that take place in phases from October 17 to December 2.

The polls, originally scheduled for early 2015, were postponed amid charges from rights groups of repressive measures during a crackdown on the Islamist opposition.

The country’s private media, while praising el-Sissi, have routinely slammed the government in recent weeks, accusing ministers of incompetence and of being out of touch with Egyptians suffering from years of unrest since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Former Agriculture Minister Salah el-Din Helal and others are under investigation for charges they received over $1 million in bribes.

The Egyptian government has long been plagued by corruption allegations, particularly regarding land deals. El-Sissi routinely insists that he is tackling the corruption problem.

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