The new Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, was sworn in with his cabinet in yesterday, forming the first government since Mohamed Morsi was elected President.
The cabinet seemed designed to avoid any appearance of domination by the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Mr Morsi is a leading member, and includes several members of the outgoing, military-picked government and technocratic figures. Brotherhood members took four ministries, including the key post of Information Minister, which oversees the state media. It also retains Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Hosni Mubarak's Defence Minister of 20 years, in his post – reflecting how the military still wields overwhelming power.
The military had said it would decide who served as Defence Minister. The new government is taking control at a time of mounting tensions over security, sectarian violence, and growing discontent with such issues as power shortages.