New Egypt PM vows to fight ‘terrorism’

February 26, 2014 - 2:52:33 am

Egypt’s Interim President Adly Mansour (right) with newly-appointed Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab at the Presidential Palace in Cairo yesterday. 

CAIRO: Egypt’s military-installed authorities named a former member of ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party as prime minister yesterday.

Ibrahim Mahlab, a former state-sector construction boss, vowed to fight “terrorism” and bring back tourists as he began work on forming a new cabinet after the surprise resignation on Monday of prime minister Hazem Al Beblawi.

Beblawi’s government had been installed in July after the military ousted Islamist Mohamed Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected and first civilian president.

But it resigned in the face of mounting criticism of its failure to get to grips with a floundering economy and worsening industrial unrest.

Mahlab, who served as housing minister in Beblawi’s cabinet, said that interim president Adly Mansour had tasked him with forming a new government “in three to four days”.

He promised to work hard to improve services for Egyptians and fight “terrorism”.

“This will create the conditions for investment and the return of tourism,” he said.

Since Mursi’s overthrow, Islamist militants have killed several foreign tourists as well as scores of security personnel in attacks that have severely dented the economically vital tourism sector.

A limited reshuffle had been expected to allow army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to step down as defence minister and run for president.

But Sisi, who is expected to win the election this spring, will retain his post in Mahlab’s cabinet for around two weeks until an electoral law has been passed, a senior official said.