News24

Morsi appoints Copt, woman as PAs

2012-08-29 10:46

Cairo - Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on Monday appointed a Coptic Christian intellectual and a woman university professor as presidential assistants, his spokesperson Yasser Ali announced.

Samir Morcos, a liberal Coptic writer engaged in the dialogue between Islam and Christianity, has been named "assistant for democratic transition", Ali said.

Pakinam al-Sharkawi, a political sciences professor at Cairo university, was appointed "assistant for political affairs," he added.

The president also chose two assistants from the Islamist camp.

Emad Abdel Ghafour, the leader of the ultra-conservative Al-Nur Salafist party, was named "assistant in charge of relations with civil society" while Essam al-Haddad from the Muslim Brotherhoood's Freedom and Justice Party becomes assistant for "external relations and international co-operation".

Morsi, who was fielded for the presidential elections by the Freedom and Justice Party, had pledged during his campaign to include Copts in his administration.

But the Coptic community, which represents 14% of Egypt's 82 million people, was unhappy over the composition of the country's new cabinet which was sworn in in early August and includes only two women, one of them a Copt.