Mubarak's Former PM to Head New Cabinet

Egypt's ruling military council asks Kamal al-Ganzouri, who served as Prime Minister in the 1990s, to head the new cabinet.

Elad Benari ,

Protesters in Egypt (archive)
Protesters in Egypt (archive)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Egypt’s ruling military council has asked a former prime minister, Kamal al-Ganzouri, to form a new cabinet, the Al Jazeera network reported on Thursday.

Ganzouri headed the government from 1996 to 1999, under former president Hosni Mubarak.

Al Jazeera cited a report on the website of the state newspaper Al-Ahram, which quoted sources close to Ganzouri who confirmed that he had had agreed in principle to lead a national government.

After the uprising which led to Mubarak’s ouster earlier this year, Ganzouri distanced himself from Mubarak in a television interview, prompting several Facebook pages to recommend him as a future presidential candidate, according to Al Jazeera.

Born in 1933, Ganzuri served as minister of planning and international co-operation before his first tenure as prime minister. He then made a name for himself by working to strengthen ties between Egypt and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Ganzuri’s appointment came after the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) issued an apology on Thursday for the recent deaths of demonstrators and a promise to hold elections on time.

The SCAF said it “presents its regrets and deep apologies for the deaths of martyrs from among Egypt’s loyal sons during the recent events in Tahrir Square,” according to a statement on its Facebook page.

At least 38 people have been killed in the renewed protests in Egypt this week. Protesters have called on Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who has ruled the country since Mubarak’s ouster, to step down immediately.

Earlier this week, Tantawi promised the Egyptian elections will be held as planned this coming Monday. He made the announcement after the previous government, led by Essam Sharaf, resigned as a result of the renewed protests.

There have been increasing reports of violence used by security forces against protesters. These include reports of the use of nerve gas, something which authorities have denied.