Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi has appointed Hesham Qandil, a former water resources minister, as Prime Minister and tasked him with forming a new government, Egyptian TV reported on Tuesday.
Talks on formation of a cabinet have been underway for over a month. Experts say the main problem in forming a cabinet has been the refusal of technocrats to work with the Islamists who have recently come to power.
The Egyptian media say the incoming government will be almost exclusively made up of new members.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, which nominated its former member Morsi for the presidential elections, has repeatedly said it would not take the key seats in the Cabinet, in particular the Foreign Ministry and Interior Ministry, but would give them to technocrat ministers.
Islamists are likely to occupy just eight to ten posts out of 30 in the government.
“My cabinet will comprise a balanced number of technocrats. Their professional skills will be taken into account while distributing the posts,” Qandil told a press conference following his appointment.
The premier also said he would discuss the potential candidates with the president.
A U.S.-educated engineer, Qandil, who received his master’s degree in 1988, has been dubbed “the first bearded Egyptian minister,” in reference to his links to the Islamists.