CAIRO — Former U.N. nuclear agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei has been appointed Egypt’s interim prime minister, one of his top aides said Saturday, giving a liberal and secular direction to a country that until three days ago was led by Islamists.
The appointment by interim President Adly Mansour gave Egypt a public face who will probably be viewed with unhappiness by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and others who believe religion should have a prominent role in Egypt’s political life. It appeared, however, to be a consensus pick among the coalition of Egyptian political parties and opposition movements that banded together to push for the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, on Wednesday.
With Mansour a virtual unknown in Egypt, ElBaradei is likely to take a leading role in the coming months as the nation comes up with a new constitution and system of governance.
“Dr. Baradei has been named the new prime minister,” said Rania Azab, a senior ElBaradei aide, speaking by telephone.