ElBaradei installed as Egypt’s new prime minister

Al Ahram reports: Prominent politician Mohamed ElBaradei is to be appointed Egypt’s new prime minister under interim President Adly Mansour, according to Constitution Party founder Khaled Daoud.

According to Daoud, ElBaradei will be sworn in before Adly at 20:00 CMT.

Nobel peace prize laureate ElBaradei had been a leading opposition figure since the 2011 revolution, having been one of the most prominent figures to foresee and call for the uprising that put an end to the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak.

He initially had the intention to run in last year’s presidential elections, but backtracked on his decision months ahead of the polls saying there were no guarantees that elections would be fair.

During the transitional period under interim military rule, ElBaradei grew critical of the policies of the Muslim Brotherhood, which in turn had accused him of being a US “agent.”

Recalling the U.S. president’s 2009 speech in Cairo, Robert Fisk notes: Obama made the following remarkable comment, which puts the events in Egypt today into a rather interesting perspective. There were some leaders, he said, “who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others…you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.”

Obama did not say this in the aftermath of the coup-that-wasn’t. He uttered these very words in Egypt itself just over four years ago. And it pretty much sums up what Mohamed Morsi did wrong. He treated his Muslim Brotherhood mates as masters rather than servants of the people, showed no interest in protecting Egypt’s Christian minority, and then enraged the Egyptian army by attending a Brotherhood meeting at which Egyptians were asked to join the holy war in Syria to kill Shiites and overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

And there is one salient fact about the events of the last 48 hours in Egypt. No one is happier – no one more satisfied nor more conscious of the correctness of his own national struggle against ‘Islamists’ and ‘terrorists’ — than Assad. The West has been wetting itself to destroy Assad – but does absolutely nothing when the Egyptian army destroys its democratically-elected president for lining up with Assad’s armed Islamist opponents. The army called Morsi’s supporters “terrorists and fools”. Isn’t that just what Bashar calls his enemies? No wonder Assad told us yesterday that no one should use religion to gain power. Hollow laughter here — offstage, of course.

But this doesn’t let Obama off the hook. Those Western leaders who are gently telling us that Egypt is still on the path to “democracy”, that this is an “interim” period – like the ‘interim’ Egyptian government concocted by the military – and that millions of Egyptians support the coup that isn’t a coup, have to remember that Morsi was indeed elected in a real, Western-approved election. Sure, he won only 51 per cent — or 52 per cent — of the vote.

But did George W. Bush really win his first presidential election? Morsi certainly won a greater share of the popular vote than David Cameron. We can say that Morsi lost his mandate when he no longer honoured his majority vote by serving the majority of Egyptians. But does that mean that European armies must take over their countries whenever European prime ministers fall below 50 per cent in their public opinion polls?

Obama’s approval rating currently stands at 45%, but as yet there are no indications the Pentagon is making any preparations to replace him.

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