Egypt's El-Baradei willing to take helm
Islam Times - Egyptian presidential hopeful and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed El-Baradei has declared his willingness to heed demands of his nation's revolutionary youth to lead a national government if formally asked.
El-Baradei said on Saturday that he is willing to abandon his bid for presidency if he is formally asked to lead a national government.
He added that he was willing to respond to the demands of the revolutionary youth in Egypt's streets that have called for a national salvation government that represents all national forces.
His announcement comes amid political upheaval, with anti-junta mass rallies on the eve of Monday's parliamentary elections, the first since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.
The police have harshly cracked down on the protests demanding the military rulers to hand over power. Scores of people have been killed and thousands of others injured in the persisting police violence against protesters over the past several days.
Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took the helm after the former dictator's downfall, with repeated calls from the public for a civilian government falling on deaf ears.
The military council has picked Kamal el-Ganzouri to form a transitional government. The 78-year-old served as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 under Mubarak, and was also deputy prime minister and planning minister.
The announcement about the prime minister came after a meeting on late Thursday between Ganzouri and senior military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.
Tantawi, Mubarak's defense minister for 20 years, who also served in the government headed by Ganzouri, has been facing volleys of criticism from the Egyptian public.
Egyptian protesters are now further enraged by the junta's choice of prime minister, and condemned the pick of a former Mubarak associate as “illegitimate.”
Source : Reuters
Story Code: 117715