Egypt's Christian Leader Slams "Unfair" New Cabinet
Published Sunday, 05 August 2012 10:44 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Egypt's new government fails to fairly represent Christians, the acting head of the Coptic church said on Saturday, saying one cabinet seat was not enough to reflect a community that accounts for a tenth of the Muslim country's population.
Islamist President Mohamed Morsi appointed his first cabinet on Thursday that drew heavily on career bureaucrats and included three Islamist politicians, one of whom was given the politically sensitive post of education minister.
Christians who joined Muslims in the 18-day revolt that toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak last year had wanted a more inclusive government to balance the growing influence of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.
Prime Minister Hisham Kandil's cabinet appointed two women to his team but disappointed women's groups. Salafi Muslims who performed strongly in parliamentary elections were not included in the lineup at all. .
Bishop Bakhomious, who replaced Pope Shenouda following his death in March after four decades as head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, told Egypt's Al-Shorouk newspaper he had expected Christians to be better represented.
"I will not congratulate the new prime minister on the formation of the government because it is unfair... this ministerial formation came unjust to Copts," he told the paper.
"We had expected an increase in the representation of Copts especially after the number of ministries increased to 35 ministry. But the formation ignored all the known rights and concepts of citizenship," he said in the first official comment by the Church on the new cabinet.
"It is not right that Copts get treated in this way," added Bakhomious, who is acting as pope until a successor to Shenouda is elected later this year.