Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Hisham Qandil was appointed prime minister by President Mohamed Morsi Tuesday.
“This appointment of a patriotic and independent figure comes after much study and discussion to choose a person able to manage the current scenario,” a spokesperson for Morsi told the BBC.
Before his appointment, Qandil was an unknown Egyptian politician who had no political affiliation “before or after the revolution,” the spokesperson said.
Qandil will be tasked with forming a government.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported that Egyptian politicians are divided on the choice.
“I can’t trust those who praise him or those who attack him so soon,” leftist activist Wael Khalil told the newspaper. “We need to know the criteria by which Qandil was chosen. We need more transparency,” he added.
“Egyptians should know Morsi’s plan and whether he aims to achieve national unity or merely implement the Brotherhood’s renaissance program,” Khalil said.
Qandil’s beard has prompted speculation that he has Islamist tendencies, reported the Egypt Independent. He denied affiliation with Islamist groups, but said his beard was grown to meet religious obligations.
At the age of 50, Qandil is the youngest prime minister in the country’s history. He spent much of his career as a technocrat in public sector posts in engineering and water, the BBC said.
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