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Egypt Planning Minister Says Unaware of Cabinet Changes

Egypt’s planning and international cooperation minister said she was unaware of plans to reshuffle the Cabinet, contradicting earlier remarks by the parliamentary speaker that the change would be announced by the ruling military council.

“As far as I know, there is not going to be a ministerial change,” Fayza Aboulnaga told reporters today. She said she couldn’t comment on remarks by Parliament Speaker Saad el- Katatni yesterday that he’d been told by the ruling generals that a change would be announced within 48 hours. One day has passed, so “why don’t we wait another 24 hours,” she said.

An about-face in the announced change could add further confusion to the country’s tumultuous political scene on the day that campaigning began for Egypt’s first presidential election since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster last year.

The election, slated to begin May 23, takes place as the ruling military council comes under growing pressure from Islamists and secularists concerned it will renege on pledges to hand over power to a civilian administration.

El-Katatni yesterday said he had received a promise that the military would make changes within the government. That step came after the assembly voted to suspend its work for the remainder of the week to protest the ruling generals’ refusal to fire a government lawmakers see as obstructing their work and “engineering” crises.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net Abdel Latif Wahba in Cairo at alatifwahba@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Digby Lidstone at dlidstone@bloomberg.net

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