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Monday, 10 December 2018

El-Beblawi Egypt new PM

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EGYPT'S military-backed interim presidency has moved to implement a speedy transition to civilian rule, appointing the economist Hazem el-Beblawi as prime minister and the internationally known opposition leader, Mohamed ElBaradei, as vice-president.

In a tense atmosphere after the killing of 55 supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, and threats of fresh mass protests by his supporters, the army also warned against political "manoeuvring" at a time of instability and anxiety – apparently to forestall more squabbling about other cabinet posts.

General Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, the defence minister and armed forces commander who ousted Morsi last week, said in a statement broadcast on state TV that the military was determined to tackle the challenges facing Egypt in "these difficult circumstances". Sisi's message was also a greeting to Egyptians on the occasion of the Muslim Ramadan holiday, which begins on Wednesday.

Beblawi, a respected former finance minister, will lead a technocratic government whose other members have yet to be announced. Crucially, it looks unlikely to include Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood is holding out for Morsi's restoration, which does not now seem likely.

ElBaradei, a Nobel peace prize laureate, was on the verge of being named prime minister last week, but at the last minute that was blocked by the Salafi Nour party. His role is a fillip for liberals.

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