Mohamed ElBaradei
Photo: Reuters
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Photo: AFP

Report: Egypt's Military Council eyes ElBaradei as new PM

Former IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei said to be Cairo's choice to replace PM Sharif, who stepped down amid growing civil unrest

Egypt's ruling Military council is considering naming former International Atomic Energy Agency Chief Mohamed ElBaradei as Cairo's new prime minister.


Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharif resigned on Tuesday, amid growing civil unrest. Egypt's rulers promptly announced the formation of a temporary "salvation cabinet," pending the paramilitary elections. 


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According to Arab media, the growing unrest sparked rumors that the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) – which has effectively ruled Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign in February – was set to announce that it will relinquish power and transfer it to the country's Supreme Court. A Council spokesman denied the reports.  


Protests in Cairo


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Still, Farouk Sultan, chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, had cut short his visit to Turkey and was making his way back to Cairo, local media reported.


The Military Council announced that Egypt will hold its parliamentary election on November 28 as scheduled, and has also set the next presidential elections for June. No exact date has been set, but according to Cairo's media, the SCAF seeks to have the new president sworn in by July 1.


Political sources quoted by the Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabea said that the possibility of ElBaradei taking on more prominent role in the country's government has been discussed between ElBaradei and SCAF officials over the past few weeks.


Riots in Tahrir Square (Photo: AP)


The paper noted that the former IAEA chief has apparently demanded extensive authorities, as well as a SCAF pledge that it will not interfere in government matters. 


'The people have spoken'

In another attempt to stop the riots sweeping through Egypt, the army said that it will release all those who were arrested over the past three days.


Prime Minister Sharif issued the following statement on Tuesday: "The Ministry responded to the people's demands, and submitted its resignation.


"Today, I ask everyone to take this country into account; to leave, calm the situation down because we are willing to do anything for the sake of this country, and you must be willing to as well because who will benefit from these events? All I ask of people is that they leave, calm down, we have already responded to what they wanted and it will be implemented, God willing.


"We were so close to our main goal which is the elections; this is what is important, this political shift. So again I ask that people protect Egypt in this stage."


Meanwhile, the White House on Tuesday called for an end to the "deplorable" violence in Egypt and said elections there must go forward.


"We are deeply concerned about the violence. The violence is deplorable. We call on all sides to exercise restraint," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. 


AP and Reuters contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 11.22.11, 17:53
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