Egypt's main opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, has appointed Mohammed Badie, a conservative figure, as its new leader, his predecessor announced on Saturday.
Badie, a veterinary professor at a southern university, was "chosen by consensus by members of the consultative council," Mohammed Akef told a press conference in Cairo.
The Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, is officially banned but controls a fifth of seats in parliament after it ran independent candidates in the last general election in 2005.
It also has affiliates in other Muslim states, some with official status. Egypt's Brotherhood leader is in theory the movement's chief on the international front but groups in other countries are autonomous in practice.
The choice of Badie, the group's eighth supreme guide since it was founded in 1928, signals a return to a less high-profile public role than in the last poll when the Brotherhood's supporters fielded 160 candidates, analysts say.
Born in 1943 in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla el-Kubra, Badie was jailed for nine years in the 1960s after being accused of membership of a Brotherhood military cell that allegedly planned the overthrow of the government.
He was later responsible for ideological education within the group.
Badie's election came after a bitter dispute between conservatives in the group, who place the emphasis on strengthening the organization and ideological outreach, and reformists, who advocate a more active public role for the group.
Akef resigned last year before the end of his term in office in protest after conservative members of the Brotherhood politburo opposed a promotion for Essam Erian, who is associated with the group's reformist wing.
The conservative wing has been seen to consolidate its control in subsequent politburo elections, in which the group's deputy chief Mohammed Habib and reformist leader Abdel Moneim Abul-Futuh lost their seats.
Analysts say the new leadership team and a campaign of arrests by police were likely to encourage a shift away from public life.