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Egypt PM struggles to form cabinet, Brotherhood vows protests

Egypt PM struggles to form cabinet, Brotherhood vows protests

Cairo: Egypt's new Prime Minister was faced with road blocks in forming a new cabinet and steering the deeply polarised nation through a transition phase, as the Muslim Brotherhood Thursday vowed to continue protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi by the army.

"We will continue our peaceful resistance to the bloody military coup against constitutional legitimacy," the Brotherhood said in a statement. "We trust that the peaceful and popular will of the people shall triumph over force and oppression."

Morsi's overthrow last week after nationwide protests demanding his resignation has plunged Egypt into violent turmoil.

Media reports have said that some political figures have declined to take up positions in the new cabinet, even as Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy Thursday said that there are no problems facing the process of appointing leaders to governmental positions.

"I have a general idea concerning the formation of a harmonious cabinet that has competencies, technical expertise, and credibility, regardless of any other factors," Beblawy said, in a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Media reports quoted Beblawy as saying that he does not rule out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in his cabinet if candidates are qualified.

But the Brotherhood rejected the offer, demanding Morsi's reinstatement and calling for fresh rallies against what it called "a bloody military coup".

"I have thought about my selections for approximately 70 to 90% of the cabinet positions," he said.

The latest developments came as US officials said Washington will go ahead with plans to deliver four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks.

The new leadership was moving quickly on announcing a new cabinet because it was under pressure to transfer power from military to civilian rule, media reports said.

The country remained deeply divided, as the military-backed government continued to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood, ordering the arrest of its revered Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and his deputy Mahmoud Ezzat yesterday.

Egyptian authorities ordered the arrest of top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood for inciting violence that claimed 55 lives.

Clashes on Monday between Morsi's supporters and security forces killed 55 people and wounded another 435. It was the deadliest day in Cairo since the revolution that forced former President Hosni Mubarak from office in 2011.

Eight other top Brotherhood leaders are wanted by the prosecution.

The public prosecutor also charged 200 people held over the bloodshed outside the military barracks.

Meanwhile, a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters yesterday that Egypt's ousted president Morsi is in a "safe place" following his overthrow by the army.

He added that no charges had been levelled against Morsi yet.

Uncertainty ruled in Egypt as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun and the military said it would address the issues of this week's deadly violence.

Egypt's interim President unveiled a roadmap on Monday for fresh polls by early next year to end the raging political turmoil in the country.

Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour issued the constitutional declaration late Monday night giving himself limited power to make laws, and outlined the timetable for parliamentary and presidential elections.

The whole process will take no more than 210 days, according to the decree, meaning elections will be by February at the latest.


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