Egypt’s Ganzouri, a Key Player in 1990s Privatization Push, Dies

Kamal el-Ganzouri, a veteran Egyptian politician who played a key role in pushing ahead the privatization program in the late 1990s, has died, state media reported Wednesday. He was 88.

El-Ganzouri held the post of prime minister under President Hosni Mubarak from 1996 to 1999 and again briefly after the long-time leader’s ouster in the 2011 uprising. He died after battling an illness, the Ahram Gate news portal said.

An economist by training, El-Ganzouri held several ministerial posts under Mubarak before being appointed prime minister. As premier, he was widely credited with enacting several landmark laws, working to privatize key state-run companies in a largely bloated and ineffective public sector and taking the helm on major development projects.

He re-appeared on the political scene after Mubarak was forced to resign amid mass protests against his rule. El-Ganzouri headed a new government from late November 2011 and held the post until the election of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in June 2012. That period marked a particularly difficult time for Egypt, which faced major economic challenges as key revenue sources dried up after the Arab Spring revolt.

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