Egypt names six provincial governors, mostly ex-generals

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s president named six new provincial governors on Wednesday, in a series of appointments that extended the influence of the military and security forces.

Five of the six new governors held senior roles in Homeland Security and the military before their appointment by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former general who became Egypt’s leader after the army ousted Mohamed Mursi in 2013.

Three of the six positions were previously held by civilians. With the appointments, only eight of Egypt’s 27 provincial governors now have civilian backgrounds.

For decades, many provincial governors came from the army or police. After Mursi was elected president, following the 2011 revolt that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, he briefly named more civilians, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which he belonged. Under Sisi, the role of former soldiers and police is being restored.

Wednesday’s appointments include the naming of former Transport Minister Atef Abdel Hamid, an ex-army officer, as governor of Cairo, a position that has been vacant for six months.

The governors were sworn in on Wednesday, as was the new supply minister, Mohamed Ali el-Sheikh, another former major general whose nomination was approved by parliament on Tuesday.

Reporting by Ola Noureldin, Mostafa Hashem and Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Lin Noueihed, Larry King