Egypt Army considering ElBaradei to defuse crisis

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 22:18

Cairo: Rattled by a fresh round of protests,
Egypt`s military is considering the possibility of roping in
former IAEA chief and activist Mohamed ElBaradei as the new
prime minister of the country.

Egypt`s civilian government headed by Essam Sharaf
resigned yesterday following three days of violent protests
that claimed over 30 lives, but reports said the ruling
military council was seeking agreement on a new prime minister
before it would accept the resignations.

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) had invited all
political and national forces for an emergency dialogue to
look into the reasons behind the current crisis and ways to
resolve it.

Egypt`s Al Ahram daily said quoting a television report
that SCAF is considering appointing ElBaradei as the new prime
minister.

The paper quoted its sources as saying that the military
council is still studying Prime Minister Sharaf`s resignation
and that parliamentary elections, that are scheduled for
November 28, will not be postponed.

The SCAF is yet to issue an official statement on the
resignation of Sharaf`s government.

Egypt, that saw the ouster of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak
in February this year, plunged into a crisis after protesters
returned in large numbers to Tahrir Square to put pressure on
the military to quicken the transition to democracy.

A lot of angst is directed against Field Marshal Hussein
Tantawi, the head of SCAF, who was Mubarak`s defence minister
for two decades.

Thousands of people gathered again at the Tahrir Square
today responding to a call for a `million march`. The
activists are demanding immediate resignation of Sharaf`s
cabinet and the formation of a national salvation government.

"The people want the fall of the marshal," chanted the
protesters, referring to Tantawi.

They are also demanding holding of presidential elections
by April 2012 and a complete overhaul of the Interior
Ministry, which they believe is still dominated by Mubarak-era
people.

"This land belongs to Egyptians. It is not for sale and
does not need any guardians," read a banner as protesters
assembled at the Square.

"All Egyptians demand an Egypt run by civilians," another
said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 22:18

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