Egypt interim president Adly Mansour chooses Mubarak crony Ibrahim Mehlib for prime minister

Ibrahim Mehlib, center, tours a government housing project in Ismailiya, Egypt, Nov. 24, 2013. AP

CAIRO -- Egypt's interim president has chosen as prime minister a construction magnate from the era of ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Adly Mansour on Tuesday named Ibrahim Mehlib, who had for more than a decade led Egypt's biggest construction company, Arab Contractors, to replace Hazem el-Beblaw, who resigned on Monday.

Many saw the move as paving the way for military chief and Defense Minister Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to run for the presidency and to defuse mounting popular anger at the government's perceived failure to revive the economy and improve services.

El-Sissi must leave the military if he is to run for president.

Mehlib told reporters Tuesday that his cabinet members will be "holy warriors" in the service of Egyptians. He says he will form his cabinet within three days.

In 2010, Mehlib was one of 10 people chosen by Mubarak to become members of the upper house of parliament. Prior to that, he was nominated chairman of The Arab Contractors.

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