Sunday 27 November 2011

Egypt's new Prime Minister.

Who is Kamal al-Ganzouri?

Updated November 26, 2011 12:24:52
Egypt's new prime minister, Kamal al-Ganzouri, 78, is a former premier and veteran economist, but his appointment is not likely to satisfy mass calls for a fresh face to lead the country to democratic rule.
The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power when Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February, said it had tasked Mr Ganzouri with forming a new cabinet.
The appointment comes after a week of protests and deadly clashes in Cairo and other provinces demanding an end to military rule.
But leadership risks being a poisoned chalice, with protesters determined to bring down any premier who is not given full powers by the military.
On Tuesday, the SCAF accepted the resignation of the caretaker cabinet headed by the once-popular Essam Sharaf, whose fall from grace was due to his perceived weakness in the face of the army.
Field marshal Mohamed Tantawi, Mubarak's long time defence minister now in charge of the country, has vowed to give Mr Ganzouri the prerogatives to lead the country through the fragile transition.
Mr Ganzouri, who served under Mubarak from 1996 to 1999, is an economic expert considered one of the primary architects of the free-market reforms launched in Egypt in 1991.
On Thursday, private television channels had leaked the news of Mr Ganzouri's appointment, sparking criticism from the Tahrir Square protesters.
"I think he was popular in his era, and successful. He did good during his period, but this is not his time," said university student Abdullah Ahmed, 22.
"He's a good guy, but the square doesn't want him," said Yahya Hamad.
Born on January 12, 1933, in the province of Menufiya, Mr Ganzouri was considered incontestably loyal to Mubarak, before a falling out with his former boss thrust him out of the limelight for 11 years.
After the popular uprisings earlier this year that toppled Mubarak, Mr Ganzouri distanced himself from the former leader in a television interview, prompting several Facebook pages to recommend him as a future presidential candidate.
With a degree in agriculture from the University of Cairo and a doctorate in economics from Michigan University in the United States, Mr Ganzouri has held several important posts over the last 20 years.
From 1975 to 1977, he was governor of the western province of Al Wadi Al Gedid and of Beni Sueif province in central Egypt, before directing the national planning institute between 1977 and 1986, which is responsible for the country's economic policy.
He made a name for himself by working to strengthen ties between Egypt and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
He led negotiations between his country and the IMF in 1991, the same year the free-market reforms were launched in Egypt under the fund's guidance.
First posted November 26, 2011 12:22:29

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