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

(Continued from page 1)

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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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Pushing aside Morsi, army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced Wednesday in a televised speech that the military had suspended the Islamist-drafted constitution, and that a civilian Cabinet of technocrat would run the country until new presidential elections are held. No date has been given.

Millions of anti-Morsi protesters around the country erupted in celebrations after the televised announcement by the army chief on Wednesday evening. Fireworks burst over crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where men and women danced, shouting, "God is great" and "Long live Egypt."

That fact that Egypt's interim president comes from the Constitutional Court adds a symbolic sting to Morsi's ouster.

The Islamist leader and his Muslim Brotherhood backers had repeatedly clashed with the judiciary, particularly the constitutional court, while in power, accusing the judges of being loyalists of former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in a 2011 uprising, and saying they seek to undermine Egypt's shift to democratic rule.

The judges, meanwhile, had repeatedly challenged the Brotherhood's policies and what many in Egypt considered the group's march to power. The Constitutional Court dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament in June last year, saying it was illegally elected. It rejected a Morsi decree to reinstate the chamber.

Even with an interim leader now in place, Egypt remains on an uncertain course following Morsi's ouster, and the possibility of further confrontation still looms. Beyond the fears over violence, some protesters are concerned whether an army-installed administration can lead to real democracy.

 

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