Egypt’s Christian leader slams “unfair” new cabinet

August 4, 2012

By Yasmine Saleh, Reuters

Egypt’s new government fails to fairly represent Christians, the acting head of the Coptic church said on Saturday, saying one cabinet seat was not enough to reflect a community that accounts for a tenth of the Muslim country’s population.

Islamist President Mohamed Mursi appointed his first cabinet on Thursday that drew heavily on career bureaucrats and included three Islamist politicians, one of whom was given the politically sensitive post of education minister.

Christians who joined Muslims in the 18-day revolt that toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak last year had wanted a more inclusive government to balance the growing influence of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Prime Minister Hisham Kandil’s cabinet appointed two women to his team but disappointed women’s groups. Salafi Muslims who performed strongly in parliamentary elections were not included in the lineup at all.

Bishop Bakhomious, who replaced Pope Shenouda following his death in March after four decades as head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, told Egypt’s Al-Shorouk newspaper he had expected Christians to be better represented.

“I will not congratulate the new prime minister on the formation of the government because it is unfair… this ministerial formation came unjust to Copts,” he told the paper.

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