President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb’s Cabinet on Saturday, entrusting Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail with forming a new government within a week.
There was some speculation of an immiment Cabinet resignation last week, after the arrest of the minister of agriculture, who was accused of receiving bribes.
However, the chairperson of the state-owned Akhbar al-Youm newspaper published a column on Friday in which he wrote that Sisi and Mehleb would meet on Saturday morning to determine the fate of the Cabinet, their first meeting since the resignation and arrest of the agriculture minister.
Mehleb pulled out of a press conference in Tunis during his visit to the city last week after a reporter asked him questions regarding his involvement in another corruption case, related to former President Hosni Mubarak’s misappropriation of public funds for his presidential palaces.
Under the governance of interim President Adly Mansour, Mehleb was appointed head of the Cabinet on February 25, 2014, following the resignation of his predecessor Hazem al-Beblawi.
After Sisi’s election in May 2014, the president extended Mehleb’s leadership of the Cabinet.
A mechanical engineer by trade, Ismail has been petroleum minister since 2013. He was previously chairperson of the state-owned Ganoub al-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company, involved in oil exploration and infrastructure.