Somalilandsun – Egypt’s new president moved to assert his authority Saturday by naming a chief rival of ousted leader Mohammed Morsi as interim prime minister and holding crisis talks with security officials on efforts to reclaim control of the streets.
The steps by the untested Adly Mansour, however, are likely to deepen the defiance by Islamist opponents who have turned parts of the Cairo into vigilante-guarded strongholds and have issued blood oaths to battle until Morsi is restored.
After a night of clashes that claimed at least 36 lives, both sides appeared to be preparing for the possibility of more violence as Egypt’s political unraveling increasingly left little room for middle ground or dialogue.
Mansour’s decision to bring pro-reform leader and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei into the key government role of prime minister is also certain to help cement the loyalties of the anti-Morsi forces.
The president planned to swear-in ElBaradei later Saturday, said Khaled Dawoud, an official with the main opposition National Salvation Front.
ElBaradei, a former director of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, led the protests against President Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring uprising that ended his autocratic rule in February 2011.
The revolution also opened the way for the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was long under pressure from Mubarak’s Western-backed regime. Elections last year brought Morsi to the presidency, but ElBaradei remained a voice of dissent, once saying the Brotherhood lived “in a delusion” for thinking its members could manage the country on their own.