Egypt names Hisham Qandil as new prime minister

Hisham Qandil Mr Qandil has previously had a low profile in Egypt

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has appointed Water Minister Hisham Qandil as prime minister and asked him to form a new government, state TV says.

There has been much speculation over how Mr Mursi will allot cabinet posts.

The army officially transferred power to President Mursi on 30 June, but retains some significant prerogatives.

On 10 July, the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) suspended a decision by Mr Mursi to reinstate the Islamist-dominated lower house of parliament.

Its decision last month to nullify parliamentary elections held earlier this year because of flaws in the law setting it up had led to political deadlock.

Mr Qandil was a member of the outgoing caretaker government of Kamal al-Ganzouri, who was appointed prime minister by the military last year.

"This appointment of a patriotic and independent figure comes after much study and discussion to choose a person able to manage the current scenario," said Mr Mursi's spokesman, adding Mr Qandil had no affiliation to any political party "before or after the revolution".

Mr Qandil is little known outside Egypt, spending most of his career as a technocrat in public sector posts in water and engineering.

At 50, he is Egypt's youngest prime minister, reports say.

Mr Mursi is from the Muslim Brotherhood, but has promised a government that will be inclusive, with women and Christians represented.

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