Cabinet of Egypt
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The government has a leading role in shaping the agenda of the houses of Parliament. It may propose laws to Parliament, as well as amendments during parliamentary meetings. It may make use of some procedures to speed up parliamentary deliberations. The government is responsible only to Parliament, specifically the People’s Assembly.
The People’s Assembly may pass a motion of censure, forcing the resignation of the cabinet. Ministers have to answer questions from Members of Parliament, both written and oral; this is known as Inquiries to the Government Talebat Ihata.
In addition, ministers attend meetings of the two houses of Parliament when laws pertaining to their areas of responsibility are being discussed.
The details of the cabinet's organisation are set down in articles 153 to 160 of the constitution. Article 155 states that the members of the cabinet have to be sworn in when taking office.
The Cabinet shall exercise in particular the following functions:
- Laying down the general policy of the State in collaboration with the President of the Republic and controlling its implementation in accordance with the laws and republican decrees.
- Directing, co-ordinating and following up the work of the ministries and their different administrations as well as public organizations and institutions.
- Issuing administrative and executive decisions in accordance with the laws and decrees and supervising their implementation.
- Preparing draft laws and decrees.
- Preparing the draft of the general budget of the State.
- Preparing the draft of the State’s overall plan.
- Contracting and granting loans in accordance with the rules of the Constitution.
- Supervising the implementation of law, maintaining State security and protecting the rights of the citizens and the interests of the State.
Ministerial seniority and rank
Traditionally, the cabinet comprises, in decreasing rank:
- The Prime Minister, Head of the Egyptian government.
- Ministers, Full Cabinet members. Currently there are 39 full ministers in this government.
- Ministers of State, described as ‘junior ministers’, are assigned specific responsibilities or agencies. The portfolios of ministers of state are considerably more transient, as positions may be created and dissolved to suit specific short-term government priorities or the specific qualifications of candidates without alterations to the departmental structure, e.g. the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs.
- Ministers without portfolio, ministers who do not head specific departments and occasionally attend cabinet meetings, e.g. former Minister without portfolio Omar Suleiman, the former Vice President of Egypt.
- Chairmen of Departments, who head certain important departments that do not fall under the jurisdiction of any of the ministers and answer directly to the Prime Minister, e.g. The Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority.
- Ministers-Delegate, who assist ministers in areas of their duties and rarely attend cabinet meeting.
The following eligibility conditions must be met constitutionally by all ministers.
- At least 30 years old natural-born Egyptian citizen, enjoying full civil and political rights.
- A minister may not work in any independent work, commercial, financial or industrial while in office.
The interim cabinet of Essam Sharaf was sworn in on Monday 7 March 2011 by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces & Minister of Defense. In July 2011, Sharaf fired several ministers although the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) said he didn't have that power. On 21 November 2011, the entire Cabinet offered to resign in the face of the second wave of protests. On 24 November 2011, Egypt's military rulers appointed former prime minister Kamal Ganzouri to form a new government. His government resigned on 26 June 2012 after the election of Mohamed Morsi as President of Egypt to make way for the new government.
- Field Marshal Tantawi swears in interim cabinet, Al-Masry Al-Youm, 7 March 2011
- Egypt's prime minister reshuffles cabinet in response to protests, Jack Shenker, 'The Guardian, 17 July 2011
- Egypt’s Civilian Government Submits Offer to Resign, David D. Kirkpatrick and Liam Stack, The New York Times, 21 November 2011
- Egypt military 'appoint Kamal Ganzouri as new PM', BBC News, 24 November 2011
- "Egypt's new cabinet sworn in". Ahram Online. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "BREAKING: New government swears in". Cairo Post. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- "UPDATED PROFILES: Ministers in Egypt's new cabinet". Ahram Online. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Cabinet.gov.eg official site
- Current ministers as of 8 March 2011
- New Egyptian cabinet takes oath of office, BBC News, 7 March 2011