New Egyptian cabinet sworn in by President Mursi

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi shakes hands with Mohammed Mursi Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi was formally sworn in by President Mohammed Mursi

Egypt's new cabinet has been sworn in by newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi at a ceremony in Cairo.

The ministers were selected by Prime Minister-designate Hisham Qandil, who earlier called for Egyptians to rally behind "a people's government."

Only four ministers from President Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood were given posts.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak stepped down, remains as defence minister.

The military retains broad powers, including legislative authority.

President Mursi has been criticised for the time he has taken to name a prime minister and form a government.

He promised an inclusive government, with women and Christians represented. The cabinet line-up includes only two women - one of them is a Christian.

His nomination of Mr Qandil, the outgoing water resources minister, surprised many observers, who had been expecting a well-known figure.

'We are all Egyptians'

Speaking at a news conference in Cairo ahead of the ceremony, Mr Qandil appealed for Egyptians to pull together to support the new government.

"I call on all Egyptians to rally behind our elected president and to work with the government to achieve all of our goals.

"We have to stop asking who is a Copt, a Muslim or a Salafi. I don't see that. All I see is that we are all Egyptians and this should be the main principle."


Egypt's first government under President Mursi has a low-profile feel - many of the ministers are technocrats with little political experience.

Critics, including the young secular liberals who sparked Egypts uprising 18 months ago, will say it does not have the air of a revolutionary government. Many of the new ministers worked under former President Hosni Mubarak.

Crucially, Egypt's long-standing Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi will keep his job. He runs the country's military, which seems reluctant to hand over power to civilian rule.

In one respect, President Mursi has avoided confrontation, approving only a handful of Islamist ministers from his own Muslim Brotherhood movement.

But the battle for who actually controls Egypt will continue to be fought out in the coming months.

The new government will have its work cut out. Egypt's economy is floundering and many Egyptians say they've seen little improvement in their day-to-day lives.

President Mursi has listed his main priorities as security, fuel, rubbish, bread and traffic.

Mr Qandil will hold a meeting with members of his government on Saturday to discuss the next steps on seeking an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, he said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Seven ministers will remain from the outgoing military-appointed cabinet - including Mumtaz al-Said, who will serve as finance minister, and Mohammed Kamal Amr, who stays on as foreign minister.

Former prime minister Kamal Ganzouri becomes a presidential adviser.

The re-appointment of Field Marshal Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), is in line with an interim constitutional declaration issued after June's presidential election run-off.

The Scaf assumed presidential powers after Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down as president in February 2011.

Its declaration and decision to dissolve parliament only days before caused outrage and overshadowed the nominal transfer of power to President Mursi on 30 June.

Of the ministers appointed, only four are members of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which Mr Mursi used to lead.

They were given posts in higher education, housing, youth and information - the ministry which regulates the media.

Another key post, the minister of religious endowments (Awqaf), went to Osama al-Abd, the president of al-Azhar University.

There had been speculation that an ultraconservative Salafist cleric, Mohammed Yusri Ibrahim, would be appointed.

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