CAIRO -- A day after the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi, Egypt's interim president has named a former housing minister to head a new government.
The new prime minister, Ibrahim Mehlib, is a former construction contractor who was asked by President Adly Mansour to form a new Cabinet.
The formation of a new government has been widely seen as part of an effort to free up the country's de facto ruler, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi, to run in presidential elections that are expected this spring.
Sisi is the defense minister in the outgoing government, and also heads the army. Under Egyptian law, he must resign his military post before he is eligible to run for president.
Although no specific dates for the election have been scheduled, it could be held as soon as mid-April.
Mehlib will be leading the sixth Cabinet to be formed in Egypt since the 2011 revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.
His appointment stirs concerns among some Egyptians who believe that the choice could be a step back toward pre-2011 policies.
The former chairman of the mega-construction Arab Contractors company, Mehlib was also a prominent member of Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party.
He was appointed as housing minister as part of Beblawi's Cabinet following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi last July.
Mehlib said that he had already initiated talks to announce ministers of his new Cabinet as soon as possible.