Meet the new governors
Mohamed Abdel-Baky profiles the 10 officials whose names have been announced
On Tuesday, President Mohamed Mursi reshuffled some of his governors, appointing 19 new ones out of 27.
The upper hand in the reshuffle went to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) who received 40 per cent of the seats by appointing four governors. Three seats -- 30 per cent -- went to former military and police major generals. The remaining three new governors included a judge and two university professors.
For Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate, Mursi picked Saad El-Husseini, an engineer who has been a parliament member since 2005. El-Husseini is also a member of the political bureau of the MB and a member in the higher committee of its Freedom and Justice Party.
The new governor of Menoufiya, Mohamed Beshr, is also a member of the MB Guidance Council Bureau. Within the Muslim Brotherhood, Beshr was responsible for the group's activities in the Engineers Syndicates until 1997. From 1990-1995 he was the parliament member of Menoufiya's first district.
During the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak, Beshr and El-Husseini were detained several times. In 2006 they were prosecuted along with 40 other MB leaders on charges of joining an outlawed group that sought to overthrow the government.
Yehia Kishk, medical professor at the University of Assiut, was awarded the governor's post in Assiut. Kishk is a leading MB figure in Assiut and is said to have played a key role in mobilising Assiut residents to vote for Mursi during the presidential elections.
Mustafa Farghali, a leading MB figure in Minya and a professor at Minya University, was appointed governor of Minya.
Military and police generals were appointed for the border governorates of North Sinai, Red Sea and Suez.
General Sayed Harhour, former general of the military police, was appointed governor of North Sinai. General Mohamed Kamel, a major general in the engineering division in the military, was appointed for the Red Sea governorate. Major General Samir Aglan was chosen for Suez governorate.
For Cairo, Mursi picked Osama Kamal, a civil engineer who was Benha University's vice president for the last two years.
Judge Mohamed Atta Abbas, chosen for Alexandria governorate, was a deputy chief justice of Egypt Administrative Court.
Studies show that over the last two decades, 50 to 80 per cent of all governors appointed under Mubarak had military backgrounds. Some came from the police or other internal security bodies, such as the now-dissolved State Security Apparatus.
"It is the same way the old regime reshuffled the governors... nothing new, neither people with a military background nor official from the ruling party," said political analyst Mustafa Kamel El-Sayed.
El-Sayed noted that the selection of the new governors was not based on standards of competence, as most of the new governors do not have backgrounds related to local development.
"For example in Suez, people are against changing the governor who enjoyed popularity among the majority of people there. Nobody even consulted the local leaders there of who should be their next governor, it is the same policy that Mubarak used," he added.
According to Amr Hashem Rabei, an expert at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, the Muslim Brotherhood is planning to install its members as governors to restore the popularity they lost after the presidential election.
"I think they plan on getting at least 13 governorates before the parliament election, a step they think might improve their popularity," Rabei argued.
Rabei added that it is clear that Mursi is allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to dominate all national institutions, reproducing the old National Democratic Party (NDP).
After the 25 January Revolution, governors were reshuffled by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and former prime minister Essam Sharaf, who changed 18 out of the 27 governors. Sharaf changed the governors once again in August 2011 replacing 11 of them and moving one governor to another governorate. Five new army and police generals were also appointed.
Minister of Local Development Ahmed Abdine said on Tuesday that he discussed with various political forces the governors reshuffle which appears part of a wider strategy the president is adopting to reform local and regional authorities.
He added that the second step in this reform plan is to hold municipal council elections directly after parliamentary elections, and that their electoral system would be determined by the new local development law.
Former prime minister Kamal El-Ganzouri, now a consultant of the president, announced in February that his cabinet was working on amendments to the local development law to give the council a more active role and wider powers which could include monitoring governors and other officials.
Egypt is divided into 27 governorates and 199 city councils. Each city has its own municipal council.