Egyptian president-elect Mohammed Mursi has begun to draw up “a list of names” for the new cabinet on Monday which is expected to include ministers who will have the support of his movement’s election allies.
The move comes as Mursi supporters, backed by some liberal and secular youth groups, vow to press on with their protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to pressure the ruling generals to rescind their decrees and reinstate parliament.
World leaders have congratulated the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, who defeated former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, with a 51 percent win. Mursi could be sworn in on 30 June. A senior Brotherhood member, Sobhi Saleh, told the official Egyptian news agency that Mursi would take the oath in front of the constitutional court instead of in parliament, which the military disbanded earlier this month.
The current military-appointed cabinet offered its resignation on Monday, state media reported, adding that it would assume caretaker responsibilities until Mursi forms a new cabinet.
Mursi has already begun consultations for the formation of his presidential guard and deputies, as well as the government, which he said would not be limited to the Brotherhood’s political wing Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), but would include the other political parties and forces, Egypt’s daily al-Masry al-Youm reported.
On Monday, Mursi, once a prisoner under the regime of ousted former president Hosni Mubarak, was moving into the presidential palace and had already begun talks to appoint his new cabinet, days before the military is scheduled to transfer power, a spokeswoman said.
He has also moved into the office once occupied by Mubarak.
“He has already started, with a list of names he is considering. He says he will declare the cabinet soon,” said Nermine Mohammed Hassan, a campaign spokeswoman.
There has been talk of Mursi having discussions with Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei for the role of prime minister, which would provide reassurance to non-Islamists. ElBaradei has not commented.
Mursi has also promised to appoint a range of vice presidents and a cabinet of “all the talents,” the BBC reported.
In an interview with a private Egyptian television channel earlier this month, the then presidential candidate said he that his “team” of vice presidents would include “a woman, a Christian and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
On Sunday evening, tens of thousands of Mursi supporters, backed by some liberal and secular youth groups spent the night in joyous celebration of Mursi's victory and vowed to press on with their protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square to pressure the ruling generals to rescind their decrees and reinstate Parliament.
Although few stayed in the Square by Monday morning, Muslim Brotherhood cadres pressed on with a days-long sit-in aimed at pressuring the military to repeal the decrees.
The military also has control over the budget drawn up by the outgoing cabinet, which the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament had strongly disputed.
Mursi, who defeated his rival, ex-Mubarak premier Ahmed Shafiq, with 51.7 percent of the vote, quickly moved to allay domestic and international concerns over the Islamists’ victory in the Arab world’s most populous country.
In a speech on Sunday after the electoral committee announced his victory, Mursi vowed to be president to all Egyptians and appealed for national unity after the divisive election.
The fiercely pro-Palestinian leader also pledged to honor Egypt’s international treaties, which include a 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a careful statement after Mursi was declared the election winner.
“Israel values the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential election,” his office said in a statement.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Monday hailed Mursi’s win as “historic,” and said it hoped the country would regain its leadership role in the Arab world.
“Hezbollah congratulates the great Egyptian people for this historic election,” the Shiite militant party said, adding that it hoped Mursi would enable Egypt “to regain its leadership role in the Muslim-Arab world and to define the future of the region.”
The party – which opposes the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel – sparked Mubarak’s ire in late 2008 by accusing him of complicity with Israel during the Jewish state’s offensive against the Gaza Strip.