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Mon 11 May 2009 08:42 PM

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UAE ruler replaces top posts in cabinet reshuffle

Two deputy prime ministers replaced, two influential members of ruling family promoted.

UAE ruler replaces top posts in cabinet reshuffle
SHEIKH KHALIFA: Two deputy prime ministers replaced in what one anlayst sees as a likely re-energising of the cabinet. (Getty Images)

The UAE replaced two deputy prime ministers on Monday in a reshuffle that did not affect the OPEC oil exporter's energy portfolio but promoted two influential members of Abu Dhabi's ruling family.Presidential Affairs Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the man behind Abu Dhabi's investments in Daimler and Barclays, and Interior Minister Saif bin Zayed al-Nahayan, were named deputy prime ministers, the official WAM new agency reported.

They replace Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed al-Nahayan and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the agency said. All four are brothers of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

"I think we are in for a re-energising of the cabinet," said Abdel-Khaleq Abdullah, an Emirati political scientist. "These positions have been there for so many years. Sheikh Sultan has been around for the last 30 years as deputy prime minister."

"But despite the fact there has been this change, the essentials are still there. The two new deputy prime ministers are from Abu Dhabi."

Citing a decree by the president, WAM said Education Minister Hanif Hassan Ali and Health Minister Humaid al-Qattami swapped portfolios.

Sheikh Mansour is chairman of International Petroleum Investment Company, chairman of First Gulf Bank FGB.AD and a member of the Supreme Petroleum Council, Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He is also owner of Manchester City football club.  (Reuters)