Mubarak Ally Named Egypt's Prime Minister

Outgoing housing minister Ibrahim Mehlib takes interim gig
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2014 2:30 PM CST
In this Nov. 24, 2013, photo, Ibrahim Mehlib, center, tours a government housing project in Ismailiya, Egypt.   (Khaled Kandil)

(Newser) – Egypt has a new prime minister—and he is, of all people, the housing minister. Interim president Adly Mansour today asked 65-year-old Ibrahim Mehlib, a former construction magnate and Hosni Mubarak ally, to form a government in the wake of the mass resignation of the previous government. Minutes after the official announcement, Mehlib told reporters that his cabinet members will be "holy warriors" in the service of Egyptians, fighting "day and night" to improve living standards, combat terrorism, and ensure new elections go smoothly. He says he will form his cabinet within three days.

Installing a new government, weeks ahead of the vote, appears to be paving the way for outgoing Defense Minister Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the army's overthrow of Morsi, to run for the presidency. A government official says el-Sissi will be part of the new cabinet. El-Sissi must leave the military and take off his uniform if he is to run for president. A cult of personality has grown around him, and most observers expect he would sweep the vote if he runs. (Read more Adly Mansour stories.)

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