Egyptian interim government sworn in

On 16 July it was announced on state television that interim President Adly Mansour swore in 33 mostly technocratic or liberal ministers. The interim government was installed after one of the most violent clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces this month. Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the ousting of the former government, is becoming deputy prime minister  next to his current position as defense minister. Economist Hazem el-Beblawi, who suspended his membership in the Social Democratic Party, is leading the new government as prime minister. Seven ministers held positions in the former government  but none of them are Islamists.

Violence

In the previous night 401 people had been arrested. Seven people were killed and at least 261 people were injured. Morsi supporters tried to block several key positions including an  important bridge. In a response security forces started using tear gas from different sides hindering people to leave the bridge.

Positions

Although allegedly positions have been offered to Islamists from the former government party of the Brotherhood and the ultra conservative Nour Party, they refused to participate in, what they see as, a military government. The Islamist parties denied any positions had been offered to them but they would not have joined the government anyway, they say.

Reactions

Spokesman Haddad of the Brotherhood said: ‘it’s an illegitimate government, an illegitimate prime minister, an illegitimate cabinet. We don’t recognize anyone in it’.  ‘We don’t even recognize their authority as representatives of the government ‘.

US, Under Secretary of State, Bill Burns said after a meeting with the interim leaders: ‘The first priority must be to end violence and incitement, prevent retribution, and begin a serious and substantive dialogue among all sides and all political parties’ and urged the military to avoid ‘politically motivated arrests’.

The US have officially not yet said the ousting of the former government was a coup. This statement would legally require a freeze on approximately  1.1bn Euros in economic en military aid to Egypt.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) stated that: ‘they are deeply concerned with the escalation of Islamists terrorist attacks in the Sinai peninsula. The attacks intensified after the ouster of Morsi, following the popular uprising on June 30th , and claimed the lives of Egyptian soldiers and civilians. The militants, who have been targeting military and police checkpoints, extended their targets to include civilians and Churches in other cities as well. The latter reveals the sectarian side of their violence.  The ESDP holds the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice party responsible for these terrorist attacks’.

Source: BBC, ABC, Aljazeera, Reuters, NBCNews,

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