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7 Jul, 2013 01:06

Egypt’s interim president retreats from naming ElBaradei Prime Minister

Egypt’s interim president retreats from naming ElBaradei Prime Minister

The appointment of former IAEA chief Mohamed Elbaradei for the post of Egypt’s interim prime minister has been placed on hold as consultations with various political parties over the selection of an interim PM continue.

Speaking at an impromptu press conference held at Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace, spokesman for interim President Adly Mansour, Ahmed Musilamani, told reporters the presidency had to take into account opposition to ElBaradei and denied that the nomination of the Nobel Peace laureate was ever certain.

Earlier, the Tamarod movement which organized the mass protests that lead to the overthrow of Morsi on Wednesday, made the announcement after consultations with Adly Mansour, that Mohamed ElBaradei was appointed to be Egypt's interim Prime Minister.

The announcement was greeted with cheers from thousands of Tamarod supporters outside the presidential palace. They waited there for most of the day as ElBaradei spent Saturday in discussions with other chiefs of Egypt’s new coalition, involving army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the Ministry of Defense. 

Meanwhile, the country’s most prominent Islamist parties expressed their opposition amid the news reports ElBaradei would be appointed.

"The nomination of ElBaradei violates the roadmap that the political and national powers had agreed on with General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi," the deputy leader of the Nour Party, Ahmed Khalil told Al Ahram. The Nour Party is Egypt's second biggest Islamist group.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest Islamic party and supporters of former President Morsi also voiced their anger over ElBaradei’s nomination, calling it “Washington’s choice” and urged more protests on Sunday.

A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency shows Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour (R) meeting with newly appointed Prime Minister and opposition National Salvation Front leader Mohamed El Baradei (L) in Cairo on July 6, 2013. (AFP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)

“We reject this coup and all that results from it, including ElBaradei,” a high-ranking official in the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, told Reuters. 

Presidential spokesman said that several options remain for the role of the interim Prime Minister but mentioned no other candidates. Musilamani also emphasized there was no set date for the appointment to be made. 

The spokesman also said that the Muslim Brotherhood can take part in the coming elections.  

"We extend our hand to everyone, everyone is a part of this nation," the spokesman told reporters. “The Muslim Brotherhood has plenty of opportunities to run for all elections including the coming presidential elections or the ones to   follow." 

But outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Nasr City, in Cairo, a nucleus of Morsi supporters demanded the army restore President Morsi to power. Following Friday and Saturday clashes where at least 36 people died and more than 1,000 were wounded, they staged a sit-in protest next to the barracks of the Republican Guards where the ousted president is believed to be held. 

Following the ousting of President Morsi on Wednesday, tens of thousands of people marched across the country in what the Muslim Brotherhood movement called a "Friday of Rage". Street battles erupted with some of the worst violence seen on the streets of Alexandria, where 14 people lost their lives. Eight areas of Cairo have also witnessed street battles with anti-Morsi activists clashing with his supporters. In Cairo, three hours of street fighting eased after the army deployed troops and vehicles, to keep rival sides apart.