By Joel Gulhane and Charlie Miller
Interim prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi continued on Monday the task of forming a cabinet to operate as Egypt’s interim government as per the political roadmap outlined by the armed forces following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.
El-Beblawi met with several candidates for ministerial positions on Monday having met with other candidates the previous day. Amongst those who met El-Beblawi on Monday were Atef Helmy, candidate for the post of Minister of Communications; Abdel Labib, a candidate for the Minister of Local Development; Ahmed Darwish, a potential contender for the post of Minister of State for Administrative Development; and Major General Mohamed Abu Shadi, a candidate for the Minister of Supply, state-owned al-Ahram reported.
Darwish, who was the Minister of State for Administrative Development under Hosni Mubarak from 2004 until 2011, has been a consultant to a number of international organisations including the European Union and the World Bank.
Helmy had been made Minister of Communications and Information Technology in January 2013 under ex-Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, and has a long history working in the Information and Communication Technology field, spending a number of years as the CEO of Oracle Egypt.
Nader Bakkar, spokesperson for Al-Nour Party confirmed that his party would not participate in the interim government because it believes that the cabinet should not include representatives from political parties. He said: “we want a purely technocrat government to help us during the transitional period and settle things with the economy and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
El-Beblawi and Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din have both frozen their memberships in the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. Bakkar said El-Beblawi is an exception because he met the criteria that the Al-Nour Party had put forward for the role of prime minister. Bakkar explained that Al-Nour wanted the prime minister to have previous experience in government and to be specialised in economic affairs. El-Beblawi has previously served as minister of finance and deputy prime minister for economic affairs.
The spokesperson stressed: “the most important thing now is to convince people that [the removal of Morsi] was not a military coup.”
Bakkar said that Al-Nour Party put forward recommendations for posts in the interim government, one of which was Darwish.