Liberal economist Hazem El-Beblawi appointed new Egyptian PM

Ahram Online, Tuesday 9 Jul 2013

Following several other names initially floated for post, liberal economist Hazem El-Beblawi is appointed prime minister by Egypt's new interim president

El Beblawy
Egypt's interim President Adli Mansour (R) meets with Egypt's former Finance Minister Hazem el-Beblawi at El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo July 9, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour has assigned prominent liberal economist Hazem El-Beblawi to top the administration that will be in charge of Egypt's upcoming transitional period.

El-Beblawi, a former finance minister, was not the first choice of the parties involved in the political process sponsored by the Egyptian Armed Forces following the ouster last week of former president Mohamed Morsi.

Most of the parties involved in the talks had preferred Mohamed ElBaradei for the premiership, who would have been appointed PM last Saturday were it not for the objections of the Salafist Nour Party.

Elbaradei had been backed by the anti-Morsi Rebel campaign and other "revolutionary" youth groups and parties.

Ziad Bahaa El-Din, liberal lawyer and co-founder of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, was also floated for the position, but the ultra-conservative Nour Party also rejected his candidacy.

Soon afterward, economist Samir Radwan, a former finance minister, was announced as a potential prime minister.

It was El-Beblawi, however, who was soon after formally declared premier.

The appointment came soon after interim president Mansour issued a new constitutional declaration granting him legislative authority.

The constitutional declaration lays out the political roadmap that both Mansour and El-Beblawi will be expected to follow in the upcoming period.

El-Beblawi, also a co-founder of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, served as undersecretary-general at the UN between 1995 and 2000. He was minister of finance in Essam Sharaf's cabinet from July to October 2011 during Egypt's post-revolution army-administered transitional phase.

He resigned in October 2011 to object to clashes in Cairo's Maspero district between military police and Coptic protesters in which 28 of the latter were killed.

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