Mohamed ElBaradei becomes Egypt's interim vice president for foreign relations

Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel laureate, withdrew from Egypt's upcoming presidential race, siting undemocratic measures taken by the country's ruling generals. Egypt's military announced Sunday that nominations for the race would open mid-April.

Egyptian leader Mohamed ElBaradei was sworn in on Sunday as Egypt’s interim vice-president for foreign relations.

The appointment of the former diplomat followed speculation that he would become Egypt's interim leader until elections were held.

The nomination seemed imminent last weekend, but vigorous opposition meant the idea was abandoned.

In particular, the liberal politician's nomination was rejected by the ultra-conservative Salafist Al Nour party, which claimed that it had violated the transition process.

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Former diplomat ElBaradei was a major figurehead in the Egyptian opposition movement that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011.

He was likely chosen given his extensive international experience and connections abroad.

Adly Mansour will likely remain as Egypt's interim vice president.

The news comes as Egyptian officials announced a criminal investigation against ousted Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi and eight other Muslim Brotherhood figures will be investigated on allegations that they incited violence, destroyed the economy and spied.

The investigation could lead to charges — a prospect that would likely provoke further divisions in Egyptian society.

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On Sunday, it emerged that Egypt's public prosecutor has issued a temporary freeze of the assets of 14 Islamist leaders.

Al Jazeera reports that Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater are among them.

Mohamed Ezat, Mahi Ekef, Saed ElKatatni, Essam ElErian, Mohamed ElBeltagy — embers of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group — will also be affected.

The assets will be frozen pending an investigation into events in al-Mokatam, al-Nahda square, and the Republican Guards Club, where clashes broke out in the aftermath of the June 30 protests.