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Egypt PM to announce cabinet on Thursday

By AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's new prime minister, Hisham Qandil, will announce a cabinet on Thursday, almost a month after President Mohamed Morsi took office amid a power struggle with the military, state media reported on Saturday.

Qandil, a former irrigation minister, has been in consultations with candidates since Morsi appointed him last week to head the new government, which must carry out the president's ambitious plans for the country.

"Qandil said he will announce the final cabinet line up on Thursday," the official MENA news agency reported.

The new team will replace one appointed by the military, which took charge after a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year and which still has broad powers after formally transferring control to Morsi.

In a sign of the military's continuing influence, it will choose the defence minister. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who ruled Egypt after Mubarak's ouster, served as the dictator's defence minister for two decades.

Qandil has said he wants a government of technocrats and will appoint people based on their competence, which Morsi's aides say is crucial if the government is to implement the president's programme.

Morsi pledges to restore security, end fuel shortages and waste mismanagement in months, while bettering Egyptians' livelihoods.

The Islamist president shares power with the military, which took over legislative powers after a court ordered parliament dissolved in the run up to the June presidential run off election.

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