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Egyptian military source: No Cabinet shuffle pending

From Ian Lee, CNN
April 30, 2012 -- Updated 1917 GMT (0317 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "No reshuffle is planned within the Cabinet," a senior military source says
  • On Sunday, a leading lawmaker said a government overhaul was imminent
  • Friction is growing between Egypt's military leaders and the Muslim Brotherhood
  • The group's efforts to flex its political muscle have been repeatedly thwarted

(CNN) -- Egypt's ruling military council does not plan to reshuffle the nation's civilian government, a military source told CNN Monday, contradicting a leading lawmaker's assertion that a Cabinet overhaul was imminent.

Saad al-Katatni, the speaker of Egypt's lower house of parliament, said Sunday that the council would announce changes to the government in a matter of days.

But a senior military source for Egypt's military council contradicted that claim Monday.

"No reshuffle is planned within the Cabinet," said the source, who asked not to be identified. "Al-Katatni can say whatever he wants."

The military source's comments were the latest sign of growing friction between Egypt's military leaders and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The group, which was banned for years under former President Hosni Mubarak, claimed the lion's share of seats in parliament after elections this year.

But its efforts to flex its political muscle have been repeatedly thwarted by the military council.

In recent weeks, the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, have clashed with the military council and the civilian government the generals installed.

On Sunday, al-Katatni, of the Freedom and Justice Party, said in remarks broadcast on state television that lawmakers in the lower house were suspending their session for a week because the military council had ignored calls to dismiss Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri's government.

For the past three Fridays, the Muslim Brotherhood has led large protests in Cairo criticizing the Cabinet and Ganzouri, who became prime minister late last year -- the same post he held between 1996 and 1999 under Mubarak.

Even if the military leaders don't respond to the Brotherhood's calls for reform in the short term, the Cabinet terms are scheduled to expire at the end of June.

The military council, which took power after Mubarak's ouster, has said it will hand over power to a new president in July.

The first round of the presidential election is scheduled for May 23.

Campaigning officially started Monday.

Journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this report.

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