London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Following the Egyptian cabinet’s surprise resignation on Monday, interim President Adly Mansour has tasked outgoing housing minister Ibrahim Mahlab with forming a new government, state media reported on Tuesday.
Prime Minister-designate Mahlab announced that he would immediately start consultations on forming a new cabinet. He said that Egypt’s new government will work to “crush terrorism” across the country.
“We will work together to restore security and safety to Egypt and crush terrorism in all corners of the country,” Mahlab told a news conference on Tuesday.
In comments to the Al-Ahram newspaper, Egypt’s prime minister-designate pledged to focus on ways to stop the strikes, strengthen Egypt’s ailing economy and restore calm.
“Restoration of security and national unity of the Egyptian people are indispensable to move forward towards improving the living conditions of Egyptian families,” Mahlab said.
Mahlab is a former member of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s outlawed National Democratic Party (NDP).
The government of Hazem El-Beblawi unexpectedly resigned on Monday following a series of strikes across the country, including by public sector workers. Beblawi said that the decision to resign was taken “in light of the current situation the country is going through.”
Government spokesman Hany Salah said: “This government feels that it did what it had to do in this critical period, and maybe it’s time for a change.”
Monday’s cabinet resignation is being viewed by many as a platform for powerful army chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to announce a long-expected presidential bid.
Senior Egyptian politicians, including former presidential candidate Amr Moussa, had called on Sisi to resign from government and the military before running for the presidency.