After Mohamed Morsi, the second most surprised man in Egypt today is Adly Mansour, the Chief Justice of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) and Egypt’s new interim president.
The now former president appointed Mansour, who had been Deputy Chief Justice since 1992, to the top judicial position in May 2013. Mansour has been Chief Justice for a full two days, as former Chief Justice Maher El-Beheiry’s term ended on June 30. Mansour will be sworn in as head of state on Thursday, July 4.
But who is Adly Mansour? Both English and Arabic sources have little information, but here is what we know so far.
Mansour was born on 23 December 1945 in Cairo and studied law at Cairo University, graduating in 1967. He went on to receive advanced degrees in law and management from Cairo University, graduating in 1969 and 1970.
Upon graduation, Mansour entered the public sector as an assistant prosecutor in the State Council (Majlis Al-Dawla), a judicial body, and slowly climbed the ranks to become a prosecutor in 1975, an assistant judge in 1977, judge in 1984, and finally Deputy Chief Justice.
From 1975 to 1977, Mansour studied at the prestigious National Institute of Public Administration in Paris. He was also a legal advisor to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Trade from 1983 to 1990.
The SCC general assembly approved Morsi’s appointment of Mansour as Chief Justice on May 19, 2013. He was the second Chief Justice after Maher El-Beheiry to be appointed from within the Court.
Previous legislation allowed the president to choose an individual from outside the SCC and did not require the approval of the general assembly. It was this legislation that allowed President Hosni Mubarak to appoint controversial military judge Farouk Sultan to the Chief Justice position in July 2009. Following amendment in 2011, current SCC law states that the president must appoint the Chief Justice from the three longest-serving deputy chief justices and mandates general assembly approval.
Commander of the Armed Forces Abdelfattah El-Sissi stressed in his statement today that the interim president will hold legislative powers, including the power to issue constitutional declarations.
In a statement to Al Shabab, an offshoot of Egyptian state-run newspaper Al Ahram, former head of the State Council Mohammed Hamed El Gamal described Mansour as a “fair man” with allegiances only to “the constitution and the law.”
“I am certain that he will respect the will of the Egyptian people and legal and constitutional legitimacy…dissolve the Shura Council and suspend Morsi and [constitutional assembly chairman Hossam] al Ghiryani’s constitution. He will be cooperative, understanding and execute the will of the people as he has always done.”
According to Al Shabab, Mansour has taken part in the recent rulings on the Presidential Election Laws including the unconstitutionality of Articles 1 and 6 regarding campaign launch and end restrictions and members of the Elections Commission holding cabinet positions.
*Marwa Farag is an Egyptian journalist and student of history and political science at Stanford University in California. Find her on Twitter at @MarwaFarag.