Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour appointed Mohamed ElBaradei, the former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as the country’s interim Prime Minister on Saturday.
ElBaradei, a 2005 Nobel Prize Winner, opposed former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and joined the demonstrations at Tahir Square.
His appointment comes three days after former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was toppled. ElBaradei leads the National Salvation Front, which is described as “Egypt’s main coalition of opposition parties.”
As the Washington Post notes, ElBaradei, who has struggled to gain popular support as a politician among non-elite Egyptians, will likely “take a leading role in the coming months as the nation comes up with a new constitution and system of governance,” especially because Mansour is “a virtual unknown in Egypt.”
Forbes aptly describes ElBaradei as more “Generation UN” than “Generation Facebook,” and his appointment has already drawn fierce anger from supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
ElBaradei’s appointment is reportedly on hold for the moment, as Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour backed away from his initial announcement.
According to USA Today, Ahmed el-Musilamani, Mansour’s spokesman, denied to reporters that “the appointment of the Nobel Peace laureate was ever certain.” This claim came even as “reporters gathered at the presidential palace were ushered into a room where they were told by an official to wait for the president who would arrive shortly to announce ElBaradei’s appointment.”
The Associated Press reports that Munir Fakhry Abdelnur, a senior opposition official, said the “the reversal occurred because the ultraconservative Salafi el-Nour party objected to ElBardei’s appointment and mediation was underway.”