Egypt Premier-Designate Says New Cabinet Nearly Complete

The selection of Egypt’s new government is 70 percent complete, and talks are ongoing about filling the remaining posts, Prime Minister-designate Hisham Qandil told reporters today.

The news comes amid mounting criticism over the delay in the formation of the Cabinet, which is slated to take over from the interim government appointed by the military council that ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster last year. The generals handed over power to President Mohamed Mursi at the end of June.

Qandil, a little-known irrigation minister, was chosen by Mursi to head the new government on July 24. His selection was criticised by secularist groups and other parties who saw him as a far cry from the national unity figure that the president pledged to appoint.

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali denied reports that the government will change the current minister of defense, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who is also head of the military council, in the cabinet due to be announced on Aug. 2.

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