Former Egypt PM Kamal Ganzouri dies aged 88

Egypt's president pays tribute to the 'unique statesman'

epa03251806 Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri gestures during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, 06 June 2012. Ganzouri confirmed the second round of presidential elections will take place 16 and 17 of June.  EPA/KHALED ELFIQI
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Former Egyptian prime minister Kamal Ganzouri, 88, died on Wednesday at a military hospital in Cairo after suffering an undisclosed illness, Egyptian state media said.

"Egypt today lost a unique statesman," President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said in his eulogy to Ganzouri.

"He was a righteous person in Egypt, loyal to its soil and its people."

Ganzouri served twice as Egypt's prime minister, once in 1996 under former president Hosni Mubarak, and a second stint in 2011 under the ruling military council after the Egyptian uprising that toppled Mubarak.

He was chosen for the role in an attempt to quell a power struggle between police and protesters who demanded the military immediately hand power over to a civilian authority.

Protesters largely rejected Ganzouri’s appointment, arguing that he was too entwined with Mubarak-era institutions to meet protesters' demands for a reformed Egypt.

He served in the role for less than a year, resigning from the post in June 2012 after the election of Mohamed Morsi as president.

Ganzouri first joined the Egyptian government in 1982 when he was appointed minister of planning. He then became minister of international co-operation in 1984.

He served as the deputy prime minister to Mubarak from 1986 until 1996, and then became prime minister from 1996 to 1999.

As premier, he was widely credited with enacting several landmark laws, working to privatise key state-run companies in a bloated and ineffective public sector and taking the helm on major development projects.

Before officially joining the government, he worked as an economist and served as an adviser to former president Anwar Sadat.

Ganzouri was born on January 12, 1933 in Bagour city in Menoufia governorate.