ElBaradei named as new Egyptian PM; Update: Or not?
posted at 1:46 pm on July 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Not a surprise, really, since Mohamed ElBaradei has been the international face of the secular opposition to both the Mubarak regime and the Islamist Morsi government. The interim government clearly wants to put a technocratic and competent face on their efforts:
Three days after a coup that overthrew the nation’s first democratically elected president, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has been named interim prime minister, a spokesman for his party said Saturday.
The news came after state media reported that the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat was summoned to the presidential palace by Interim President Adly Mansour for talks.
ElBaradei inherits a divided country, where thousands of Egyptians returned Saturday to the streets to mourn their dead and decry the ouster of President Mohamed Morsy.
This might also help convince the Muslim Brotherhood to work with the interim government, but there were no signals so far that they will:
On Saturday, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, rejected the call for national dialogue from the newly installed interim president, Adly Mansour.
“The party reiterated its stance that it does not recognize the military coup and that the legitimate president of Egypt is Mohamed Morsy,” said Hussein Ibrahim Amin, the secretary-general of the party, in a statement, according to state-run EgyNews.
Can the international connections of ElBaradei help convince Western nations to accept the coup as a transition to a more pluralistic democracy? He’s probably the Egyptian with the best standing to make the case, and that will likely be his highest priority in the next few weeks — especially with Egypt in need of the foreign aid it already receives.
Update: Looks like the announcement may have been premature:
MORE: ElBaradei's appointment as Egyptian PM on hold over Salafi party's objection: http://t.co/V7ZymneKBG -RJJ
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 6, 2013
The Salafis are Islamists, aligned in principle with the Muslim Brotherhood, but they don’t have a “Salafi Party.” The AP may be thinking of al-Nour, or the Salafist bloc. If they’re negotiating on the composition of the new government, that’s bad news for the Muslim Brotherhood.