Sisi tasks housing minister to form new Egypt government


CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday tasked his housing minister to form a new government after the resignation of prime minister Sherif Ismail, a spokesman for the presidency said.
Ismail stepped down Tuesday just days after Sisi was sworn in for a new term, in line with the tradition in Egypt of premiers resigning at the onset of a new presidential term.
Mostafa Madbouli, who was asked to form the new government, had served as housing minister since 2014.
The 52-year-old stood in as prime minister for nearly two months from November when Ismail travelled to Germany for medical treatment.
Ismail oversaw tough economic reforms tied to $12 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund which Cairo secured to ease a fiscal crisis that saw its deficit balloon to 12.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2015-16.
Sisi on Saturday was sworn in for a second four-year term after winning 97 percent of valid votes in March’s presidential election, for which all serious contenders either dropped out or were sidelined or arrested.
Sisi defeated lone rival Moussa Mostafa Moussa, who was relatively unknown and a fervent supporter of the president.
Critics said Moussa was a token candidate to try to legitimise the president’s re-election.