Ziad Bahaa El-Din has been offered and accepted the role of Egypt’s deputy prime minister for the interim government, headed by Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawi.
Bahaa El-Din announced his acceptance of the role in a post on his Facebook page late on Thursday night. In the post he said that he had met with Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei and Al-Beblawi before accepting the role. He said the pair convinced him of the need for him “to participate in the country’s attempt to arrive at a new consensus and a way out of the economic crisis and return to a sound democratic path.”
Bahaa El-Din, 48, studied economics at the American University in Cairo before travelling to London where he received a master’s degree from King’s College and then a PhD in financial law from the London School of Economics.
He was the Member of Parliament for South Assiut for the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP). Bahaa El-Din served as the Chairman of the Egyptian Supervisory Authority in 2009 and Chairman of the Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones form 2004-2007. He was also a lecturer at Cairo University’s faculty of law. Bahaa El-Din is also a founding member of the Friends of Ahmed Bahaa El-Din Society that promotes “creativity, innovation and the pursuit of knowledge” in marginalised communities in Upper Egypt, according to the society’s Facebook page.
Mohamed Abul Ghar, the head of the ESDP, spoke to Daily News Egypt about the appointment of Bahaa El-Din as Deputy Prime Minister. He stressed that both Al-Beblawi and Bahaa El-Din had frozen their memberships to the ESDP until the interim government ends its duties. He added, “this should be an independent government based on technocrats and not on political parties.”
Abul Ghar said that he had heard of Bahaa El-Din’s appointment as early as Wednesday morning. Speaking about both Al-Beblawi and Bahaa El-Din, he said “they are very efficient people and I think they will work well with ElBaradei and a group of technocrats to move Egypt forward.” He said that the pair will focus on moving Egypt’s economy forward, adding that the assistance coming from other Arab countries is an encouraging sign.
Some reports last week indicated that Bahaa El-Din had also been considered for the role of prime minister. It was announced last Tuesday that 77 year-old Al-Beblawi would be prime minister and ElBaradei included as vice-president to interim president Adly Mansour.
Al-Beblawi is currently in talks to select candidates for positions in the interim cabinet and is expected to make an announcement in the next few days.