* Reshuffle may help build consensus on IMF loan
* Opposition wants neutral government to oversee vote
* U.S. concerned by "lack of inclusivity" in Egypt
By Omar Fahmy
CAIRO, April 20 Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi
said on Saturday he planned to reshuffle his cabinet in a move
that could help build political consensus around a $4.8 billion
loan Cairo is seeking from the International Monetary Fund.
Mursi's opponents have been demanding the formation of a new
government to oversee parliamentary elections expected to begin
later this year. The United States, a major donor to Cairo, has
grown more critical of Mursi of late, listing a lack of
political inclusivity as one of its concerns.
The IMF has stressed the need for broad support for a loan
agreement seen as vital to easing Egypt's economic crisis but
which is also likely to bring with it politically-sensitive
austerity measures such as tax increases and subsidy cuts.
An IMF technical mission held 12 days of talks on the loan
agreement but left earlier this week without an agreement. While
in Cairo, the mission met an array of Egyptian opposition
parties in an effort to broaden support for any deal.
In an interview with al-Jazeera television aired late on
Saturday, Mursi said: "We are keen on the IMF, the World Bank,
international institutions, and on dealing with them ... but
what will serve the interests of the Egyptian citizen? That is
what we will do."
"The programs that serve (this) interest are not in
accordance with what the IMF wants. I do not yield to
conditions, internal or external. The only condition is
realising the interests of the Egyptian citizen."
Asked why had Egypt had "failed" so far to secure the loan,
Mursi said: "This is not failure. The IMF has its way, its
tools, its means, its programmes, and in Egypt we have our
tools, our means and our programmes ..."
"DEMANDS OF THE REVOLUTION"
"There is ongoing dialogue with the IMF to realise the
future interests of the Egyptian citizen such that we do not
impose on him now in a way that affects him in prices and other
things," Mursi said.
Tension between Mursi and his more secular-minded opponents
has fuelled spasms of unrest since late last year, undermining
hopes for economic recovery.
Mursi told al-Jazeera that the reshuffle would include
multiple ministries and would happen soon. On Twitter, he said
he would also change some of his provincial governors.
"Cabinet reshuffle and governors' appointments, the most
efficient will take up responsibility in order to achieve the
demands of the revolution," Mursi tweeted, referring to the 2011
uprising that ousted then President Hosni Mubarak.
Mursi did not say whether the reshuffle would include Prime
Minister Hisham Kandil, whose performance has drawn increasingly
fierce criticism, including from the Muslim Brotherhood that
propelled him to power in an election last June.
Kandil was a little-known technocrat at the time of his
appointment last July. Economists have faulted his government,
which includes Brotherhood members in some ministries, for
failing to get the economy moving.
It seems unlikely that Mursi will be able to draw his most
critical opponents into government for now as the political
division runs too deep. But he may be able to bring some
liberals and moderate Islamists into cabinet, said Yasser
El-Shimy, Egypt analyst with the International Crisis Group.
"Some of the ministers involved in the IMF negotiations will
keep their jobs, such as (Planning Minister) Ashraf Al-Araby,
but I think the IMF would be happy to see a coalition
government," El-Shimy said. "They would like to see a more
consensual approach to politics."
"With the parliamentary elections potentially not happening
for six months, there might be hope that they can defuse the
political standoff," he added.
Mursi's opponents are also demanding the removal of the
prosecutor general, who was appointed by the president in