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Egypt Cabinet ministers sworn in

By Sarah Sirgany, for CNN
August 2, 2012 -- Updated 1833 GMT (0233 HKT)
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil announces the newly-elected Egyptian cabinet on August 2, 2012.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil announces the newly-elected Egyptian cabinet on August 2, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Seven ministers from former PM's Cabinet will continue jobs under new leadership
  • Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will continue to lead Ministry of Defense
  • Analysts say the new Cabinet lacks diversity, reflects continuity rather than change
  • But new prime minister says the only criterion for selection was competence

Cairo (CNN) -- Egypt's new ministers were sworn in Thursday, the first Cabinet under President Mohamed Morsy.

Prime Minister Hesham Kandil's meetings with candidates continued Thursday afternoon, just before the 35-minister Cabinet headed to the presidential palace in the eastern Cairo district of Heliopolis. These include four new portfolios.

Seven ministers from former Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri's outgoing Cabinet will continue their jobs under Kandil's leadership, including the ministers of foreign affairs and finance.

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The Ministry of Defense will also remain unchanged under the leadership of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has ruled the country since February 2011.

Ganzouri was appointed as a consultant to Morsy. The presidential team, which is expected to include the vice president, is yet to be announced.

Analysts say the new Cabinet reflects continuity rather than change. It lacks diversity, especially in gender and religion. Only two women were named, and one of them is a Coptic Christian, a member of a religion that has been persecuted in Egypt.

At a news conference Thursday, Kandil said the only criterion for selection was competence.

At least four ministers are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which Morsy headed before his election. These include Salah Abdel-Maqsoud, who will head the Ministry of Information, which controls state media and regulates private media.

At least two ministers are considered from the pro-change camp, the most prominent of which is the minister of justice, Ahmed Mekki, who was part of the judicial independence movement in 2006.

The Ministry of Interior will witness minimum change with the appointment of Ahmed Gamal Eddin, described as a hardliner.

Kandil said that despite the challenges, the Cabinet's main objective is to achieve "the goals of the revolution: Bread, freedom and social justice." He urged Egyptians to support Morsy.

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