14 July 2013

Egypt PM Fills Key Cabinet Positions As ElBaradei Sworn in As Interim Vice President

Egypt's interim prime minister has filled several key ministerial positions as efforts continue to assemble a new cabinet. Meanwhile opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei has been sworn in as interim vice president.

Former ambassador to the United States, Nabil Fahmy, accepted the post of foreign minister on Sunday. His appointment is widely considered a symbol of the emphasis the new government places on relations with the United States, which offers $1.3 billion (995.3 million euros) a year in military aid.

Meanwhile, news agency Reuters reported that liberal economist Ahmed Galal agreed to take on the role of finance minister and senior Judge Mohamed Amin el-Mahdy was appointed as justice minister.

The appointments came as caretaker Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi (pictured above left) held a second day of meetings with candidates for his new army-backed cabinet. It is expected to have around 30 ministries and is likely to be unveiled within the next few days.

It will replace Egypt's first democratically elected government under President Mohammed Morsi who was ousted by the military almost two weeks ago. The military has pledged to hold parliamentary elections in around six months.

Earlier, Egyptian reform advocate Mohammed ElBaradei, who led the country's main opposition group, the National Salvation Front (NSF), took the oath of office before interim president Adli Mansour.

Under the 71-year-old Nobel laureate, the secular NSF led opposition to former President Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

According to NSF spokesman Khaled Dawoud, ElBaradei no longer heads the coalition.

"He is now a vice president for all Egyptians," Dawoud said.

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