There has been a mixed reaction among political circles to the decision of President Mohammed Morsi to task Hisham Kandil, current minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, with forming a government.
Whereas some considered Kandil's appointment representative of Morsi’s bias to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), others expressed optimism about the new prime minister. Those supportive of Morsi’s choice noted that Kandil represents the younger generation and had successfully managed water issues during his time at the ministry.
Hossam al-Khouly, assistant secretary general of the Wafd Party, said that it was hard to judge the new prime minister "politically," considering he has not previously been involved in politics.
Tarek al-Malt, a member of the political bureau of Al-Wasat Party, said he was optimistic regarding Kandil’s appointment because he is the first prime minister chosen by the newly-elected president. Malt said that the choice of a young prime minister was a message to the youth, adding that at his old post, Kandil was successful at managing issues relating to water and the Nile Basin.
Malt called on the new prime minister to include politicians when selecting his cabinet — not only specialists — so that the public is not surprised by hesitant ministers.
Hussein Abdel Razek, a member of the Presidential Council for the National Progressive Unionist Party, said that Kandil's selection reflects Morsi’s bias toward the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing, the FJP.
Abdel Razek told Al-Masry Al-Youm that his party will not be a part of the new government as long as the government’s program is that of the FJP. He added that the government’s bias toward the FJP is not in the general interest of the Egyptian people and completely contradicts the program of the National Progressive Unionist Party.
Ahmed Khairy, official spokesman for the Free Egyptians Party, said that at this stage, Egypt should have chosen a prime minister with a political and economic background, such as Hazem Beblawi or Mahmoud Abu El-Oyoon. "Right now Egypt needs a financial expert, not a water specialist,” Khairy added.