Sherif Ismail, who was Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in the earlier government, took oath of office as the new Prime Minister in the 33-member Cabinet that consists of three women and 16 new members.

The new ministers were sworn-in a ceremony broadcast on state television. The new ministers include those of Culture, Trade and Industry, Immigration and Expatriates Affairs, Communication, International Cooperation, Agriculture, Military Production and Tourism.

Three Ministries have been merged including Health and Population, Education and Higher Education, and Scientific Research. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior, Justice and Finance in the resigned government have kept their positions in the new Cabinet.

Former premier Ibrahim Mahlab’s government resigned on September 12, days after the arrest of Agriculture Minister Salah Helal as part of a corruption probe that is investigating several officials for allegedly receiving over USD 1 million in bribes.

Mahlab quit as Egypt prepares to hold long-delayed legislative elections in two phases between October 17 and December 2. State media reported that Sisi has appointed Mahlab as his aide for national and strategic projects.

The elections had initially been scheduled for early 2015 but were cancelled by a court on technical grounds.
Mahlab’s 31-member government was sworn in March 2014 and tasked with organising a presidential election which Sisi, the previous army chief, won in May of that year.

Sisi’s election victory came almost a year after he deposed his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsy in July 2013. Ismail was appointed in Mr. Sisi’s position as Minister of Petroleum in 2013.

The upcoming polls will come more than two years after Mr. Sisi toppled Mr. Morsy, whose now-banned Muslim Brotherhood swept the last general election in 2011. Egypt’s governments in the past have been mired with corruption allegations and has been in turmoil since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

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