Egypt Army considering ElBaradei to defuse crisis
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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.


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

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