Doubts over ElBaradei PM nomination as Islamists object
Muslim Brotherhood calls for further protests after dozens dead in Friday clashes
Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi carry mock coffins during a symbolic funeral for the four men killed during clashes with police outside the Republican Guard headquarters a day earlier, in Cairo. Photograph: Louafi Larbi /Reuters
Egypt’s political transition after president Mohamed Morsi’s ousting by the military has stumbled at the first hurdle, as the choice of liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei as interim prime minister was thrown into doubt by Islamist objections.
Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement called for further protests today after dozens of people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded on Friday in clashes between his supporters, opponents and the military.
The violence across the Arab world’s most populous state saw rival factions fighting street battles in central Cairo and many others cities and towns, and underlined the pressing need for a swift and inclusive political solution.
The state Al-Akhbar newspaper, critical of the Brotherhood, ran the headline “The Brotherhood Killed Children in Alexandria” above images purportedly showing a youth being pushed from a concrete tower onto a rooftop by Morsi supporters.
The Mediterranean city, where 14 people have died, was scene of some of the worst clashes in the dramatic upheaval since Morsi’s removal from office, which comes just over two years after autocratic former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising.
Mr ElBaradei’s nomination had been confirmed by several sources and state media on Saturday, but just before midnight a presidential spokesman told reporters that the prime minister had not in fact been chosen.
The abrupt U-turn came amid opposition to the appointment by the hardline Islamist Nour Party,
Egypt’s second Islamist force after the Brotherhood, highlighting the challenge the military faces in finding consensus among liberals and conservatives on who should run the country.
“We extend our hand to everyone. Everyone is a part of this nation,” the spokesman told reporters. “The Muslim Brotherhood has plenty of opportunities to run for all elections including the coming presidential elections or the ones to follow.”
Minutes after he spoke, state media reported that the public prosecutor ordered four top Brotherhood leaders who were held this week to be detained for a further 15 days on accusations that they incited violence against protesters. The Brotherhood has said it wants nothing to do with the military’s plans for a new interim government.
It wants Morsi reinstated and has pledged to keep protesting until he is. The Nour Party, however, had agreed to the army-backed transition plan leading to new elections. Its withdrawal from the process would strip that plan of vital Islamist support. Following the Nour rejection, the interim administration headed by Adli Mansour delayed naming the new prime minister.
US Condemns Violence
Huge protests were staged on June 30th to pressure Mr Morsi into resigning amid growing anger at economic stagnation and the perception among many that the Brotherhood wanted to take control of every part of the state, a charge it denies.