Naming of interim Egyptian prime minister apparently canceled
By HAMZA HENDAWI Associated Press July 6, 2013 9:44AM
Here are some key events from more than two years of turmoil and transition in Egypt:
Jan. 25-Feb. 11, 2011 — Egyptians stage nationwide demonstrations against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Hundreds of protesters are killed as Mubarak and his allies try to crush the uprising.
Feb. 11 — Mubarak steps down and turns power over to the military. The military dissolves parliament and suspends the constitution, meeting two key demands of protesters.
March 19 — In the first post-Mubarak vote, Egyptians cast ballots on constitutional amendments sponsored by the military. The measures are overwhelmingly approved.
Oct. 9 — Troops crush a protest by Christians in Cairo over a church attack, killing more than 25 protesters.
Nov. 28, 2011-Feb 15, 2012 — Egypt holds multistage, weekslong parliamentary elections. In the lawmaking lower house, the Muslim Brotherhood wins nearly half the seats, and ultraconservative Salafis take another quarter. The remainder goes to liberal, independent and secular politicians. In the largely powerless upper house, Islamists take nearly 90 percent of the seats.
May 23-24, 2012 — The first round of voting in presidential elections has a field of 13 candidates. Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under Mubarak, emerge as the top two finishers, to face each other in a runoff.
June 14 — The Supreme Constitutional Court orders the dissolving of the lower house of parliament.
June 16-17 — Egyptians vote in the presidential runoff between Morsi and Shafiq. Morsi wins with 51.7 percent of the vote.
June 30 — Morsi takes his oath of office.
Aug. 12 — Morsi orders the retirement of the top Mubarak-era leadership of the military.
Nov. 19 — Members of liberal parties and representatives of Egypt’s churches withdraw from the 100-member assembly writing the constitution, protesting attempts by Islamists to impose their will.
Nov. 22 — Morsi unilaterally decrees greater powers for himself, giving his decisions immunity from judicial review and barring the courts from dissolving the constituent assembly and the upper house of parliament. The move sparks days of protests.
Nov. 30 —Islamists in the constituent assembly rush to complete the draft of the constitution. Morsi sets a Dec. 15 date for a referendum.
Dec. 4 — More than 100,000 protesters march on the presidential palace, demanding the cancellation of the referendum and the writing of a new constitution. The next day, Islamists attack an anti-Morsi sit-in, sparking street battles that leave at least 10 dead.
Dec. 15, Dec. 22 — In the two-round referendum, Egyptians approve the constitution, with 63.8 percent voting in favor. Turnout is low.
Dec. 29 — The Egyptian Central Bank announces that foreign reserves — drained to $15 billion from $36 billion in 2010 — have fallen to a “critical minimum” and tries to stop a sharp slide in the value of the Egyptian pound. It now stands at just more than 7 to the dollar, compared to 5.5 to the dollar in 2010.
Jan. 25, 2013 — Hundreds of thousands hold protests against Morsi on the 2-year anniversary of the start of the revolt against Mubarak, and clashes erupt in many places.
Feb.-March 2013 — Protests rage in Port Said and other cities for weeks, with dozens more dying in clashes.
April 7 — A Muslim mob attacks the main cathedral of the Coptic Orthodox Church as Christians hold a funeral and protest there over four Christians killed in sectarian violence the day before. Pope Tawadros II publicly blames Morsi for failing to protect the building.
May 7 — Morsi reshuffles his Cabinet. Officials say the changes aim to finalize long-stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a crucial $4.8 billion loan, which requires reductions to fuel and food subsidies. A deal on the loan has still not been reached.
June 23 — A mob beats to death four Egyptian Shiites in a village on the outskirts of Cairo.
June 30 — Millions of Egyptians demonstrate, calling for Morsi to step down. Eight people are killed in clashes outside the Muslim Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters.
July 1 — Large-scale demonstrations continue, and Egypt’s powerful military gives the president and the opposition 48 hours to resolve their disputes, or it will impose its own solution.
July 2 — Military officials disclose main details of the army’s plan if no agreement is reached: replacing Morsi with an interim administration, canceling the Islamist-based constitution and calling elections in a year. Morsi delivers a late-night speech in which he pledges to defend his legitimacy and vows not to step down.
July 3 — Egypt’s military chief announces that Morsi has been deposed, to be replaced by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court until new presidential elections. No time frame is given. Muslim Brotherhood leaders are arrested.
July 4 — Supreme Constitutional Court Chief Justice Adly Mansour is sworn in as Egypt’s interim president.
July 5 — Mansour dissolves the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament as Morsi’s supporters stage mass protests demanding his return; clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi groups in Cairo and Alexandria, and violence elsewhere leave at least 36 dead. Brotherhood strongman, deputy head Khairat el-Shater, is arrested.
Updated: July 6, 2013 4:53PM
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s new president has backed away from an announcement that pro-reform leader Mohamed Elbaradei would be the interim prime minister.
A spokesman for interim President Adly Mansour, Ahmed el-Musilamani, told reporters on Saturday that consultations were continuing, denying that the appointment of the Nobel Peace laureate was ever certain.
However, reporters gathered at the presidential palace were ushered in to a room where they were told by official to wait for the president who would arrive shortly to announce ElBaradei’s appointment.
A senior opposition official, Munir Fakhry Abdelnur, tells The Associated Press that the reversal was because the ultraconservative Salafi el-Nour party objected to ElBardei’s appointment and mediation was underway.The steps by the untested Adly Mansour, however, are likely to deepen the defiance by Islamist opponents who have turned parts of the Cairo into vigilante-guarded strongholds and have issued blood oaths to battle until Morsi is restored.
After a night of clashes that claimed at least 36 lives, both sides appeared to be preparing for the possibility of more violence as Egypt’s political unraveling increasingly left little room for middle ground or dialogue.
In the eastern suburb of Nasr City — near the main rallying point for Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood — lines of fighters brandished homemade weapons and body armor at road blocks affixed with Morsi’s picture.
Next door in the relatively upscale Heliopolis district, people chanted against Morsi and honked car horns in appreciation of roadblocks manned by Egypt’s military — whose snub of Morsi’s authority earlier this week tipped the scales against Egypt’s first elected leader.
Mansour’s apparent decision to bring pro-reform leader and Nobel laureate ElBaradei into the key government role of prime minister was also certain to help cement the loyalties of the anti-Morsi forces.
Khaled Dawoud, an official with the main opposition National Salvation Front, said earlier Saturday that the president planned to swear-in ElBaradei.
ElBaradei, a former director of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, led the protests against President Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring uprising that ended his autocratic rule in February 2011.
The revolution also opened the way for the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was long under pressure from Mubarak’s Western-backed regime. Elections last year brought Morsi to the presidency, but ElBaradei remained a voice of dissent, once saying the Brotherhood lived “in a delusion” for thinking its members could manage the country on their own.
Egypt’s new president — chief justice of the country’s constitutional court — is little-known in international circles. But the choice of the 71-year-old ElBaradei gives the administration and prominent global figure to make its case to Washington and other Western allies trying to reassess policies after what Morsi’s backers have described as a “coup.” Morsi remains under detention in an undisclosed location.
Earlier, the president held talks with the army chief and interior minister in apparent attempts to work out strategies to contain another round of violence.
Morsi’s supporters have vowed to take to the streets until the toppled Islamist leader is reinstated. His opponents, meanwhile, have called for more mass rallies to defend what they call the “gains of June 30.”
“The people here and in all of Egypt’s squares are ready for martyrdom to restore legitimacy,” said Abdullah Shehatah, a senior leader of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political arm. Speaking at the main sit-in site of Morsi supporters in Cairo, he said: “This coup and all its institutions are illegal.”
There were no reports of major clashes in Egypt after dawn Saturday, following a night of street battles that added to an overall death toll of at least 75 in the past week.
Later, in the northern part of Sinai peninsula, gunmen shot dead a Christian priest while he shopped for food in an outdoor market on Saturday.
It was not immediately clear if the shooting was linked to the political crisis, but there has been a backlash against Christians since just before and after Morsi’s ouster. Attacks have occurred on members of the minority by Islamists in at least three provinces south of Egypt. Christians account for about 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 people. Morsi’s Brotherhood and hard-line allies claim the Christians played a big part in inciting against the ousted leader.
Near the main pro-Morsi gathering in Cairo, security forces boosted their presence in a sign of possible crackdowns ahead.
But it did not deter thousands of people braving a merciless summer sun in a sit-in outside the Rabia al-Adwaiya mosque in the Nasr City district, traditionally a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold.
They hoisted posters of Morsi. Volunteers with tanks of ice water strapped on their backs sprayed participants to cool them off.
There were smaller crowds of Morsi supporters elsewhere in Cairo, including about 2,000 outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard, where Morsi was first confined by the military before he was taken to an undisclosed Defense Ministry facility. Soldiers in full combat gear watched from behind razor wire.
Late Friday, violence erupted in central Cairo as the rival camps clashed on a bridge over the Nile River. Gunfire crackled in the streets and flames leaped from a burning car. The chaotic scenes ended only after the army rushed in with armored vehicles to separate the feuding groups.
The clashes had intensified after the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, defiantly proclaimed his followers would not give up street action until the toppled president’s return to office.
“God make Morsi victorious and bring him back to the palace,” Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie proclaimed Friday before cheering supporters at a Cairo mosque in his first appearance since the overthrow. “We are his soldiers we defend him with our lives.”
Hours later, his deputy, Khairat el-Shater, considered the most powerful figure in the organization, was arrested in a Cairo apartment along with his brother on allegations of inciting violence, Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif told The Associated Press. Two senior leaders of the Brotherhood were released from detention on Friday pending the completion of an investigation into their alleged role in inciting violence.
Mohammed Sultan, deputy head of the national ambulance service, said at least 36 people were killed in Friday’s clashes, the highest death toll in one day since the protests began last Sunday. Another 1,076 were injured.
In his first public appearance since he was sworn in, Mansour was photographed at the Muslim Friday prayers, which he performed at a mosque near his house in a suburb west of Cairo.
“I want everyone to pray for me. Your prayers are what I need from you,” he told worshippers who approached him to shake his hand and wish him well, according to the independent daily el-Tahrir.
The paper said the president spoke to its reporter in a brief interview after the prayer. The president’s office could not be immediately reached to confirm the comments.
“We all need national reconciliation and we will work to realize it,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “Egypt is for everyone.”
On Saturday, a Cairo court adjourned to Aug. 17 the retrial of former President Hosni Mubarak over charges of corruption and involvement in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ousted him.
Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, who are on trial for corruption, appeared at the court session.
Associated Press writers Paul Schemm and Mariam Rizk contributed to this report.