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Egypt unveils new cabinet

Cairo - Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil Thursday announced the final line-up of his government, after delays that suggested behind-the-scenes wrangling with the country's powerful military.

Former military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, keeps his post as defence minister in the new cabinet. Six other ministers were retained from the previous government.

Egyptian General Hussein Tantawi (left) and newly elected President Mohamed Morsi (centre) attend a medal ceremony at a military base east of Cairo. Photo: Associated Press and the Egyptian Presidency. Credit: Associated Press

The new 35-strong cabinet comprises 28 newcomers including four from the influential Muslim Brotherhood.

The government is the first since President Mohammed Morsi, a former senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood, took office on June 30.

The new premier said that “competence” was the key criteria in choosing members of the cabinet.

He told reporters that revitalizing the national economy and bringing security back to the country's streets would be his government's priorities.

Egypt has been gripped by turmoil in the wake of a popular revolt that forced Hosny Mubarak from power last year.

The cabinet includes four newly created ministries of drinking-water, investment, sports and youth.

The Interior Ministry went to a security stalwart, Major General Security Ahmed Gamal al-Din.

Salah Abdul-Maqsud, a journalist and a Brotherhood member, was appointed as information minister, who controls the public radio and television broadcasting in Egypt.

His picking is set to trigger fears that Islamists seek to dominate the country's media.

Morsi is to swear in the new government later on Thursday. - Sapa-dpa

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