Egypt presidency says social democrat likely to be premier

CAIRO Sun Jul 7, 2013 4:59pm EDT

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei speaks during an interview in his home in Cairo in this November 24, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Files

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei speaks during an interview in his home in Cairo in this November 24, 2012 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Files

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Social Democratic lawyer Ziaad Bahaa el-Din is likely to be appointed interim prime minister of Egypt under a deal emerging among the country's new political forces, a presidential spokesman said on Sunday.

He also said liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, whose initial nomination for the post angered a key Islamist party, would probably be appointed interim deputy president instead.

Bahaa el-Din, 48, an commercial lawyer with a doctorate in banking law from the London School of Economics, was head of Egypt's investment authority in the late years of ex-President Hosni Mubarak's rule during a period of economic liberalization, but resigned before the former autocrat was toppled.

Al-Arabiya television said Bahaa el-Din had asked for time to consider the offer.

The ultra-conservative Salafist Nour party, which objected to the proposed appointment of ElBaradei as interim prime minister, said it was studying the proposal.

One of the founders of the Social Democrat party and a strong critic of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi's rule, Bahaa el-Din argued in favor of Egypt concluding a $4.8 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund, which remains stalled because Mursi refused to implement it.

He was elected to Egypt's first parliament after the uprising that overthrew Mubarak in 2011 but the legislature was dissolved last year when the constitutional court ruled that the election law was flawed.

His appointment was suggested as a compromise by the "Tamarud - Rebel!" youth protest movement which mobilized millions of demonstrators to demand Mursi's removal and which has gained strong influence among the new authorities.

"Now the revolution is on its right path, and we tell the Egyptian people we will continue until we get our freedom," said Tamarud co-leader Mahmoud Badr. "We will back Dr ElBaradei as much as we can with all our might, but whoever commits a mistake, we'll be there to monitor."

(Reporting by Ali Abdellati and Yasmine Saleh, writing by Paul Taylor, editing by Sarah McFarlane)

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