New Egyptian government, chief prosecutor sworn in

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi swore in a new government and a chief prosecutor Saturday, a week after he accepted the resignation of the previous government amid a corruption investigation.

The new government is headed by Sherif Ismail, a former oil minister, and includes 14 newcomers.

Key portfolios – including finance, defence, the interior, foreign affairs and justice – have remained unchanged.

The new government is expected to remain in office until a new parliament is elected this year.

Al-Sissi also swore in senior judge Nabil Sadeq as Egypt’s top prosecutor, replacing Hesham Barakat, who was killed in a car bombing in Cairo more than two months ago.

Sadeq was the deputy chief of Egypt’s top appeals court.

Al-Sissi also issued a decree appointing former prime minister Ibrahim Mehleb a presidential aide for national and strategic projects, state television said.

Mehleb had served as prime minister from February 2014 until last week.

He was known for his inspection tours of public service facilities across Egypt, an approach uncharacteristic of his predecessors.

However, in recent months, local media had criticized his government for alleged incompetence and involvement of some of its members in corruption.

This month, then-agriculture minister Salah Helal and some of his aides were arrested for what local media described as the biggest corruption case to be uncovered since al-Sissi took office more than a year ago.

Helal is accused of using his power to cover up the seizure of state-owned land by a businessman.

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