July 17, 2013

Egypt’s interim cabinet sworn in

Cairo – Egypt’s interim cabinet was sworn in on Tuesday at the Presidential palace as the military continues to brush aside protests by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi demanding his unconditional reinstatement.

The unveiling of the cabinet also comes against the background of seven more deaths of pro-Morsi supporters overnight on Monday, while some 400 others were arrested.

The military appointed Adly Mansour as interim president and Hazem el-Beblawi as interim Prime Minister.

Army Chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who announced Morsi’s removal, becomes the First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister.

Other cabinet posts include Nabil Fahmy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Jalal, Minister of Finance, Mohammed Ibrahim, Minister of Interior and Durriyah Sharaf-al-Din, Minister of Information.

The cabinet includes Christians and Islamists but the Muslim Brotherhood and the second largest Islamic party, the Salafi Nour Party, are not included.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-Morsi supporters are still camped in the streets demanding his reinstatement.

More than 50 supporters of the ousted president were killed last week killed in a confrontation with the military at the headquarters of the Presidential Guards in Cairo attracting worldwide outcry and condemnation.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership has declared an “uprising” following the killing of the protesters near the Presidential Guard barracks where they believe ousted President Morsi is being kept.

While the Brotherhood said they were shot without provocation as they prepared for dawn prayers, the military said soldiers at the Presidential Guard headquarters were attacked by “terrorists’’ with guns, bombs and rocks.

Mansour has called for restraint and promised investigations into the killings.

The Muslim Brotherhood, to which Morsi belongs, has rejected a road map saying nothing short of the reinstatement

of President Mohamed Morsi would appease them.

The local media quoted senior officials of the Brotherhood as describing the decree on the road map as “invalid’’.

Under the road map, a panel would be named in 15 days to review the controversial constitution, which was approved during the administration of Morsi.

The reviewed document would be put to a referendum within four months after which parliamentary elections would be held in early 2014.

Thereafter, presidential elections would be held when parliament convenes., in a nationwide television broadcast on July 3, announced the removal of Morsi from power and the suspension of the constitution.

Morsi was accused of putting his religious priorities before the development of the country.

The AU has suspended Egypt’s membership of the 54-member bloc, saying the overthrow of President Morsi constituted an unconstitutional change of government.

The AU’s Constitutive Act prohibits an unconstitutional change of government. (PANA/NAN)