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Egypt's Adly Mansour: Interim president, veteran judge, mystery man

By Faith Karimi, CNN
July 5, 2013 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The married father of three takes over amid chaos, division
  • Mansour, 67, was named head of the Supreme Constitutional Court last month
  • State media: He helped draft election laws for the vote that brought his predecessor to power

Editor's note: Are you in Egypt? Send us your experiences, but please stay safe.

(CNN) -- He is the new leader of the most populous Arab nation. But Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour is, in many respects, a mystery man.

Profiles of him in local and international media have stuck to the basics -- where he was born, where he went to school, how he fared in his last job.

Facts that hardly offer an insight into how Mansour will run the country until new elections are called -- whenever that may be.

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But his low-key demeanor might be the very reason the military picked him, analysts say.

"He represents what the military needs, a fairly low-profile but respected technorat," said David Hartwell, a Middle East and North Africa analyst at Jane's Islamic Affairs.

One of his main roles will be to help draft a constitution, a job he is well-versed in as the head of the nation's Supreme Constitutional Court.

The Egyptian people have given me the authority "to amend and correct the revolution of the 25th of January 2011," Mansour said.

Egypt's revolution, which led to the toppling of Hosni Mubarak after three decades in power, started that day. More than two weeks later, Mubarak was ousted.

Work spans two regimes

Mansour was born in Cairo, and attended law school at a local university before heading to Paris for studies.

Appointed vice president of the court in 1992 by Mubarak, he is also one of its longest serving judges.

Deposed President Mohamed Morsy appointed him to the judicial role last month after the former chief''s term expired. He assumed the top judiciary post as a result of a law that mandates that the chief should be hired from within the system.

His work spans two regimes -- Mubarak's and Morsy's. The latter was deposed Wednesday after a year in power.

Mansour also helped draft the elections laws that set the time frame for campaigning in the 2012 vote that brought Morsy to power, the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

"The Muslim brotherhood will try to say he is part of the judicial conspiracy against them," Hartwell said. "However that's unlikely to carry weight. He is fairly balanced and has made legally sound decisions in the judiciary."

Viewed as an independent

The 67-year-old is married and a father of three.

Though virtually unknown -- no one was chanting his name on the streets as a potential replacement -- he is viewed as an independent.

"In a sense, you could argue that's what the military wanted," Hartwell said.

The army seized power after Mubarak was toppled, but lost popularity after cracking down on continuing protests. Morsy's election win last year was welcomed as win over military rule.

"This time, they (military) are looking to perform an indirect role," Hartwell said. "They don't have any desire for some kind of public body."

During the anti-Morsy protests that led to his ouster, some opposition groups had called for the head of the constitutional court to take over the running of the country.

Mansour's appointment is likely to appease them.

He will "establish a government that is strong and diverse," said Gen. Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, the nation's top military officer.

Until parliamentary elections are held, the interim president will have the power to issue constitutional declarations.

CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali, Catherine Shoichet, Laura Smith-Spark and Salma Abdelaziz contributed to this report.

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