The quest to name the next prime minister has passed its third deadline, and perhaps set to past a fourth, after promises from both President Mohamed Morsy and his spokesperson that the country would have a prime minister and a cabinet to replace the current transitional caretaker government have rung untrue.
Yasser Aly, the interim presidential spokesperson, initially said the president would name the next prime minister before his trip to Saudi Arabia. Morsy returned on Friday without an announcement, and began preparations for a trip to Ethiopia and a series of consultations with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
On Sunday, Aly once again said a prime minister and cabinet would be named after “deliberations with all segments of society,” according to the MENA news agency. The names of the appointees will now come after Morsy returns from his Addis Ababa trip, where he will attend the 19th African Union Summit.
Morsy left behind his caretaker government led by PM Kamal El Ganzoury to deal with the country’s legal whirlwind caused by his decree to reinstate the People’s Assembly. The legal situation threatens to become more vacuous if the Administrative Court decides to dissolve the Constituent Assembly on Tuesday.
Mahmoud Shorkry, a political analyst and former ambassador, said the delay might have been caused by the internal state of affairs of the country “which do not give him (Morsy) the freedom to act. There are legal and political pressures as well as crisis which make him (Morsy) hesitate.” Shokry believes Morsy is focused on forging foreign ties in order to , “foreign policy is safer, it will not backfire on him (Morsy)”, he added. Shokry believes it is normal the announcement has been delayed several times because of country’s current circumstances. “He is giving himself time, and he is forging relations with other countries and he is giving the people time to get used to him being president,” said Shokry.
Aly added in his statements, that all of the names circulating about who the new prime minister might be are just “press guesses.” There has been much speculation about the candidates for prime minister.
Similarly, rumours have also swirled around candidates for the potential three vice presidential slots, who Morsy said would represent Coptic Christians, women and an independent candidate.
In spite of all of these “press guesses,” Morsy has now entered his third week without a prime minister despite the existence of the caretaker cabinet still in place. This time Aly was less specific, not giving an exact date, but instead said the name would be announced after deliberations upon the president’s return from Ethiopia.
Observers have speculated Morsy may appoint himself, or reappoint current caretaker Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzoury – who resigned and is only serving until the new head of government is named. Many press reports hinted that Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, who has stayed relatively outside of the political fray, and similarly the possibility of Khairat El-Shater, the Brotherhood’s initial candidate for the presidency, joining Morsy. Both have denied the reports.