Egypt's major parties have agreed to back Saad al-Katatny, secretary general of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), as Egypt's first post-revolution People's Assembly speaker, the party announced Monday.
Though the new session of parliament has not yet met, Katatny is widely expected to be elected speaker. The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated FJP and Salafi-led Nour Party, who have taken nearly two-thirds of the seats in the parliament's lower house, both agreed on his appointment.
Born in 1952, Katatny would also be the first Brotherhood member to hold a senior official position in Egypt since the group was established in 1928.
Despite years of association with the Brotherhood, which was officially banned under Mubarak, Katatny is the only member of the group's Guidance Bureau to never have been jailed.
Katatny had served as the first deputy for the FJP and became the youngest member of its Guidance Bureau in 2006, at the age of 53. He also ran the Brotherhood’s administrative office in Minya.
The speaker of parliament position had traditionally been monopolized by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) under former President Anwar Sadat and later Mubarak. Traditionally, speakers had been distinguished legal experts. Katatny has not studied law.
Four People's Assembly speakers served under the Mubarak regime. Fathi Sorour held the position the longest, serving from November 1990 until the parliament was dissolved following Mubarak's resignation.
Katatny graduated from Minya University's Faculty of Science, where he worked as a professor after obtaining a PhD in botany in 1984. He then became head of the botany department in 1994.
Born and raised in Sohag, Katatny will be the first speaker of parliament from Upper Egypt.