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Egypt's interim president swears in new Cabinet - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A file picture taken on January 16, 2014 shows Egypt's then housing minister Ibrahem Mahlab speaking during a press conference in Cairo on January 16, 2014.  (AFP Photo)

A file picture taken on January 16, 2014 shows Egypt’s then housing minister Ibrahem Mahlab speaking during a press conference in Cairo on January 16, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Cairo, AP—Egypt’s new Cabinet is being sworn in, days after the country’s interim president chose a new prime minister.

State television aired the ministers being sworn in live from the presidential palace Saturday.

The new Cabinet keeps Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as the country’s defense minister. El-Sisi is widely expected to be running for president.

The country’s Interior Minister, in charge of police, also remains the same.

The new Cabinet is led by former Housing Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, who held a senior position in the now dissolved party of ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The surprise resignation of the Cabinet earlier this week, including then-Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, comes a few months before the presidential vote. Mahlab will keep 20 ministers from El-Beblawi’s government and appointed 11 new ones, mostly technocrats.

The youngest son of Egypt’s ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was detained by police Saturday on suspicion of drug possession, the country’s official news agency reported.

The MENA news agency said police detained son Abdullah Mursi, a 20-year old university freshman, after a police patrol found a suspicious car parked on the side of the road in El-Obour city, east of Cairo. Officers found two rolled hashish cigarettes in the car, the agency said.

Investigating police officer Lt. Col. Hazem Saad told the agency that Mursi’s son confessed to possession of the hashish—said to be around 5 grams (0.18 ounces). A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, said the car’s passengers were Mursi’s son and a friend.

Abdullah’s older brother, Osama, rejected the accusations, calling them fabricated. He said his brother just had been transferred to prosecutors and couldn’t have confessed since there hadn’t been an interrogation yet.

“This is an attempt to smear our image,” Osama Mursi, a lawyer, told to The Associated Press. “Half the members of this government consume alcohol and they are now accusing Mursi’s son of consuming a substance that alters consciousness.”

Mursi was toppled in a popularly backed military overthrow in July and has been in detention since, facing four separate trials. His family so far has stayed out of legal trouble amid an intensive government crackdown on Mursi supporters and leading members of his group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

On Saturday, the trial of Mursi on charges of inciting the murder of his opponents while in office resumed. During the hearing, prosecutor Ibrahim Saleh said investigators initially interrogated and held Mursi at a naval base in Alexandria, offering the first official confirmation of where the ousted leader spent the first four months following his July 3 ouster. Mursi publicly appeared for the first time in November at the opening of this trial.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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