July 4, 2013

Eygpt: Interim president sworn in amid crackdown

Chief justice Adly Mansour to serve until a new president is elected, military decrees.

By HAMZA HENDAWI and MAGGIE MICHAEL/The Associated Press

CAIRO — The chief justice of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court was sworn in Thursday as the nation's interim president, taking over hours after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, while the army launched a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails.

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Egyptian man holds a newspaper the news near Mesaha Square, in Cairo , Thursday. The chief justice of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court was sworn in Thursday as the nation's interim president, taking over hours after the military ousted the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo)

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Egyptian prosecutors ordered the arrest of the Brotherhood's leader, Mohammed Badie, and his powerful deputy Khairat el-Shater for the killing of eight protesters in clashes outside the group's Cairo headquarters this week, according to the official news agency reported.

Morsi, who a year ago became Egypt's first freely elected president, has been under house arrest at an undisclosed location since the generals pushed him out Wednesday in what his supporters have decried as a military coup. At least a dozen of his advisers and aides are also under house arrest.

Badie and el-Shater were widely believed by the oppositions to be the real power in Egypt during Morsi's tenure. As of Wednesday night, Badie was last known to be holed up at a tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast near the Libyan border, with security forces surrounding the building. But it was not immediately clear if he was still there.

Authorities have also issued a wanted list for more than 200 Brotherhood members and leaders of other Islamist groups. The leader of the Brotherhood's political arm — Freedom and Justice Party — and another of Badie's deputies have been detained.

The arrests and warrants against Brotherhood leaders signal a crackdown by the military against Islamists who have dominated the political scene in Egypt since the ouster in 2011 of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The Brotherhood's television station, Misr 25, has been taken off the air along with several TV networks run by Islamists. Morsi's critics have long accused the stations of sowing divisions among Egyptians and inciting against secularists, liberals, Christians and Shiite Muslims with their hard-line rhetoric.

Morsi's successor, judge Adly Mansour, took the oath of office at the Nile-side Constitutional Court in a ceremony broadcast live on state television. According to military decree, Mansour will serve as Egypt's interim leader until a new president is elected. A date for that vote has yet to be set.

Dressed in a dark blue suit and a sky blue tie, Mansour used his first remarks as interim leader to praise the massive street demonstrations that led to Morsi's ouster. He hailed the youth behind the protests that began on June 30 and brought out millions around the country.

June 30 "corrected the path of the glorious revolution that took place on Jan. 25," he said, referring to the revolt against autocrat Hosni Mubarak that began Jan. 25, 2011 and led to his ouster 18 days later.

"The most glorious thing about June 30 is that it brought together everyone without discrimination or division," he said. "I offer my greetings to the revolutionary people of Egypt."

"I look forward to parliamentary and presidential elections held with the genuine and authentic will of the people," Mansour said. "The youth had the initiative and the noblest thing about this glorious event is that it was an expression of the nation's conscience and an embodiment of its hopes and ambitions. It was never a movement seeking to realize special demands or personal interests."

The revolution, he said, must continue, so "we stop producing tyrants."

(Continued on page 2)

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