Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi increased the influence of his Muslim Brotherhood over government in a reshuffle that replaced two ministers involved in crucial talks with the International Monetary Fund over a $4.8 billion loan.
The changes fell well short of the opposition’s demand for a complete overhaul of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil’s administration and the installation of a neutral cabinet to oversee parliamentary elections later this year.
It looked unlikely to help build the political consensus the IMF is seeking for reforms needed to secure a loan seen as vital to easing Egypt’s deep economic crisis. The government is struggling to seal a deal that will bring austerity measures.
Kandil, a technocrat appointed premier last year, named nine new ministers. They included Amr Darrag, a senior official in the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, as planning minister. The outgoing minister, Ashraf al-Arabi, had played a central role in the IMF talks.