Sunday,17 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1408, (6 - 12 September 2018)
Sunday,17 February, 2019
Issue 1408, (6 - 12 September 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Sweeping reshuffle of governors

Gamal Essam El-Din reports on the appointment of 21 provincial heads


Sweeping reshuffle of governors
Sweeping reshuffle of governors

Only five of Egypt’s 27 governors retained their posts in the major gubernatorial reshuffle announced on 30 August. Twenty one new governors were appointed, and one, Ismail Abdel-Hamid, was moved from Damietta to Kafr El-Sheikh. In addition, 18 new deputy governors were named, including five women.

 “The recent reshuffle of provincial governors is the largest ever in terms of number,” deputy speaker of parliament Mahmoud Al-Sherif told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Though the reshuffle had been anticipated since a new government was formed on 14 June many commentators were taken aback by its extent. 

MP Montasser Riad, a member of parliament's Local Administration Committee, says the House of Representatives and the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) both played a role the reshuffle. “A majority of outgoing governors were dismissed after the ACA and parliament submitted reports on their performance to the president,” he said.

 “The list of governors now includes 19 former army and police officers, six university professors and two former ACA advisors. For the first time Egypt has two Coptic governors, Manal Awad Mikhail in Damietta and Kamal Gad Sharobeem Saad in Daqahliyya.”

Mikhail becomes the second woman, and the first Coptic woman, to serve as a governor. Nadia Abdou, the first woman in Egypt to serve as a provincial governor, left her position as governor of Beheira in the reshuffle.

The new appointees took their oaths of office in front of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 30 August. Following the ceremony presidential spokesman Bassam Riad told reporters that Al-Sisi had urged governors to find new solutions to ongoing problems, cooperate with parliament and ACA in the battle against corruption, improve public services and clamp down on profiteering in local markets.

Riad also said the appointment of a Coptic woman to the position of governor for the first time was “a very significant development”.

Mikhail, 51, graduated in veterinary sciences from the University of Benha in 1989. She received a Master’s degree in 1995 and a PhD from Alexandria University in 1999.

In 2015 Mikhail became deputy governor of Giza and was responsible for upgrading informal settlements. In 2017 she received an award from UNESCO for her role in improving Giza’s slums and tackling violence against women.

Major general Khaled Abdel-Aal Abdel-Hafez, Cairo's security chief until his retirement last month, was named the capital's governor, replacing technocrat Atef Abdel-Hamid.

Major General Ahmed Rashed Mostafa, a former head of the Interior Ministry's Administrative Affairs Authority and later the Interior Minister's security affairs advisor, was named governor of Giza.

Adel El-Ghadban, former chief of security forces in the Suez Canal area, becomes governor of Port Said.

Major-generals were also appointed governors of Aswan, Ismailia, Suez, Assuit, Fayoum, Minya, Marsa Matruh, Qena, the Red Sea, Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, El-Gharbiya and the New Valley.

Abdel-Aziz Qonsowa, deputy head of the University of Alexandria, was named the governor of the city. Ahmed Al-Ansary, head of Egypt's ambulance authority, becomes governor of Sohag.

Kamal Gad Sharobeem, a Coptic university professor with Assuit University's faculty of engineering and the outgoing head of the Specialised National Councils, was appointed governor of the densely populated Nile-delta governorate of Daqahliyya. Alaa Abdel-Halim Mohamed Marzouq, also a university professor, was appointed governor of Qalioubiya.

Professor Mamdouh Mostaf El-Sayed Ghorab was appointed governor of Sharqiya. Hani Abdel- Former ACA advisors Gaber Mohamed Ibrahim and Mostafa Mohamed Adham Khaled become governors of Beni Suef and of Luxor.

Major General Mohamed Abdel-Fattah Shousha retained his post as governor of North Sinai.

“Shousha focus will be on eliminating terrorism in North Sinai and forging a new development strategy in the region,” said Riad.

Major General Khaled Fouda was also renamed as governor of South Sinai. Fouda, appointed seven years ago, has kept the governorate, home to Red Sea resorts like Sharm El-Sheikh, Dahab and Taba, safe from terrorism.

Major general Saeed Abbas, a former army officer, was appointed governor of Menoufiya.

“Under former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi two Muslim Brotherhood members succeeded one another as governors of Menoufiya. Both were later arrested on espionage and manslaughter charges,” said Riad.  “Hesham Abdel-Baset, appointed in 2015, was arrested in January on graft charges after three years in office.”

The last reshuffle of governors was in February 2017 and included the appointment of five new provincial heads.

Leftist MP Abdel-Hamid Kamal told the Weekly the reshuffle should be followed by the holding of municipal elections.

“Parliament now needs to pass a law regulating the performance and elections of local councils in order to pave the way for the much-delayed elections,” said Kamal.

“Local council elections have been delayed repeatedly since 2011and complaints from the public and MPs of poor performance and rampant corruption have mounted. Now is the time for reform and discipline.”

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