Top News: Top Judge Sworn in as Interim Egypt President, Brotherhood Rejects Coup

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Adly Mansour, the newly-appointed head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, has taken the presidential oath of office. Judge Adly Mahmoud Mansour, 67, head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) was appointed chief in May, officially starting on June 30 after former head Judge Maher al-Beheiry reached retirement age. Adly saluted the army, the judiciary and the police in a brief speech to rapturous applause.


Egypt army topples president, announces transition
Egypt’s military commander-in-chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday unveiled a "roadmap" for Egypt’s political future proposed by the opposition, which included the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi to make way for snap presidential elections. Flanked by political and religious leaders and top generals, al-Sisi announced the temporary suspension of the constitution, and the formation of a constitutional committee to amend its controversial articles. The president of the supreme constitutional court will act as interim head of state, assisted by an interim council and a technocratic government until new presidential and parliamentary elections are held. Morsi issued a statement on his official Facebook page saying that the Wednesday military announcement amounts to a coup. "The procedures announced by the general command of the armed forces represents a full coup d’etat that is completely unacceptable," the statement asserted. Egyptian liberal opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said on Wednesday that the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 had been relaunched by the announcement of the roadmap. He added that the roadmap met demands for early presidential elections as called for by the liberal coalition. [Ahram Online, Reuters, DNE, 7/3/2013]

Top judge sworn in as interim Egypt president, Brotherhood rejects coup
Adly Mansour, the newly-appointed head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, has taken the presidential oath of office. Judge Adly Mahmoud Mansour, 67, head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) was appointed chief in May, officially starting on June 30 after former head Judge Maher al-Beheiry reached retirement age. Adly saluted the army, the judiciary and the police in a brief speech to rapturous applause. He lauded Egyptian media outlets for "lighting the road for the nation and uncovering the failures of the former regime." He also paid tribute to the youth of the revolution and all revolutionary forces for taking part in the "glorious day of 30 June." Mansour said the Muslim Brotherhood were part of the people and were welcome to help "build the nation" a day after the military overthrew president Mohamed Morsi, the website of the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported. He said he is looking forward to holding presidential and parliamentary elections representing the people’s genuine will, considering this as the only way for a better future. Mansour started consultations over the formation of a new cabinet Thursday, hours after he had been sworn in. [Ahram Online, DNE, Reuters, SIS, Egypt Independent, 7/4/2013]

ElBaradei tops list to head Egypt government – sources
Mohamed ElBaradei is favourite to head a transitional government in Egypt, military, political and diplomatic sources said on Thursday. "ElBaradei is our first choice," a source close to the military high command said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Political sources said other figures under consideration were veteran ex-prime minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, who headed a transitional government in 2011-12 after the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, and Farouk al-Oqdah, a respected former central bank governor. A decision was likely later on Thursday, the sources said. Other names that have been recommended by the Tamarod (Rebel) Movement, along with ElBaradei, include Mohamed Ghoneim and Mohamed al-Erian. [Reuters, Youm7, 7/4/2013]

Egypt’s Brotherhood won’t work with "usurper" government
The Muslim Brotherhood will not work with "the usurper authorities," Sheikh Abdel Rahman al-Barr, a member of its executive board said on Thursday, rejecting feelers from the newly sworn-in head of state. On Wednesday, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad criticized on his Twitter profile negotiations taking place between the opposition and the army, asserting that it has no political role in Egypt. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) refused to participate in the negotiations. The adviser to President Morsi, Essam al-Haddad, published a statement on his Facebook page on Wednesday saying: “For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: military coup.” Former president Morsi also decried the army’s measures as a coup shortly after he was removed from office. Mohamed Soudan, Alexandria FJP spokesman, meanwhile, clarified that both the Brotherhood and the FJP are willing to negotiate with the armed forces about the current situation. National Council for Human Rights chief Hossam al-Gheriany resigned from his post Thursday, leaving his deputy Mohamed al-Damati in charge. Mohamed al-Beltagy said on Thursday that the armed forces’ removal of the elected president will push groups, other than the Brotherhood, towards violent forms of resistance. Senior Muslim Brotherhood politician Gamal Heshmat said the Islamist group had no intention of using violence. [Reuters, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 7/4/2013]

Nour Party agrees to army road map, NSF says it’s not a coup
The Nour Party, Egypt’s second-biggest Islamist party, said on Wednesday it agreed to an army political "road map" that suspends the constitution so that the country can avoid conflict. "We took this position and we took these decisions only so we stop the bloodshed of our people," Galal Murra, Nour’s secretary general, said in a televised broadcast. The Nour Party also called on the Ministry of Interior and Armed Forces not to persecute Islamists. Meanwhile, the National Salvation Front (NSF) issued a statement early Thursday on the dramatic developments in Egypt congratulating the Egyptian people on their insistence to hold firm to the goals of the January 25 Revolution. The statement also insisted that what has happened in Egypt is not a coup but rather a necessary intervention. Amr Moussa’s Conference party also issued a statement congratulating the people and the army for a “successful revolution.” [Reuters, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic), 7/4/2013]

Also of Interest:
Revolution part 2: The fall of Mohamed Morsi | Ahram Online
AP analysis: Morsi’s fall a blow to Islamists | AP
Was the overthrow of Egypt’s government a coup? | AP
Morsi held by Egypt army, West has ‘coup’ dilemma | Reuters
Army chief Sisi emerges as Egypt’s new strongman | DNE


Egypt’s Morsi probed for "insulting judiciary"
Egyptian judicial authorities opened an investigation on Thursday into accusations that deposed President Mohamed Morsi and fifteen other Islamists had insulted the judiciary, investigating judge Tharwat Hammad said, imposing a travel ban on all of them. The top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood mentioned in the list include former speaker Mohamed al-Katatny, Mohamed al-Beltagy, former Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef, and former MP Sobhi Saleh. [Reuters, EGYNews (Arabic), 7/4/2013]

Abdel Meguid Mahmoud back in office
Egypt’s prosecutor general, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, returned to office on Thursday after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, and following a court order to reinstate him in office last Tuesday. On Thursday, several lawyers went to the Supreme Judicial Council to support the return of Mahmoud for the office of the Prosecutor General. Head of the Egyptian Judges Club Ahmed al-Zind had said on Wednesday that Mahmoud would be reinstated on Thursday. He also said that Hassan Badrawi and Tahani al-Gebali, along with other Mubarak-era judges forced into retirement within the past year, would be reinstated in their positions in Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court. [DNE, Ahram Online, 7/4/2013]

Also of Interest:
Court upholds verdict sacking Morsi’s PM Qandil, sentencing him to prison | Ahram Online, Reuters


Egypt financial situation shows positive signs, ministry says
The Egyptian Finance Ministry said on Thursday the country’s financial situation is showing positive signs. The ministry in a Thursday statement said there were no concerns regarding the delivery of services and commodities to the population. "There are no fears of problems concerning the financing of daily business of the state or the delivery of public commodities and services to citizens,” the statement said. [Egypt Independent, 7/4/2013]

Market Update: Egypt bourse soars, breaks records after Morsi ouster
Egyptian stocks soared on Thursday, with the main index up over 7 percent at mid-session a few hours after President Mohamed Morsi was deposed, recording 5,336 points, a near two-month high. Egyptian investors, who had net-bought LE71 million by mid-session, reacted positively to a Wednesday night statement by Armed Forces Chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi announcing the end of Morsi’s presidency after days of massive anti-government protests nationwide. The bourse broke records by gaining LE20 billion in the first hours of trading bringing total market capital to LE354.5 billion. [Ahram Online, Reuters, 7/4/2013]

Also of Interest:
Russia to increase 2013-2014 wheat shipments to Egypt | Reuters
Brent dips towards $105, supply fears ease after Egypt army move | Ahram Online
Egypt debt insurance costs fall sharply: Markit | Ahram Online
Gold, silver rise; oil rises on Egypt tension | AP
Egypt political upheaval to deepen economic crisis | AP


Egyptian security cracks down on al-Jazeera and Egyptian Islamic TV channels
The Muslim Brotherhood-owned television channel Misr 25 went off air along with several other Islamist-run channels, including the controversial Hafez and al-Nas, shortly after the military statement announcing the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi. Police forces went to the Media Production City in Cairo’s 6 October, where the offices and studios of these channels are located, and evacuated them. The police arrested some of the personnel working for these channels. Commenting on the crackdown, Murad Ali, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) media spokesman, said, "Immediately after the announcement of the military coup, the generals stopped all TV channels that broadcast activities and events opposed to the coup or voiced pro-Constitution views or pro-Morsi comments, so people do not hear but only one voice, one viewpoint.” Security forces also raided the Cairo offices of al-Jazeera‘s Egyptian television channel on Wednesday and detained at least five staff. Journalist Karim al-Assiuti told Reuters his colleagues at the Jazeera Mubasher Misr channel were arrested while working in the studio. The station was prevented from broadcasting from a pro-Morsi rally and its crew there was also detained, he said. Al-Jazeera is holding the Egyptian authorities responsible for the security of its staff after they were arrested late Wednesday. The Qatari broadcasting network called on security forces to immediately release its media personnel. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Egypt Independent, Ikhwanweb, 7/3/2013]

Egyptians celebrate Morsi’s ouster, Islamists furious
Fireworks burst in the sky and green lasers waved overhead as millions of Egyptians celebrated the military’s announcement that it was ousting Mohamed Morsi after four days of mass protests demanding his removal in Tahrir and at the Presidential Palace. Haitham Haggag, an engineer, said Morsi’s fall was “not a coup. Look at the people on the streets. The people said this is a revolution." Work has returned to normal in most of Egypt’s governorates, following demonstrations. The artists and intellectuals sit-in at the culture ministry in Cairo also ended Thursday. Protesters dispersed sit-ins outside key buildings, while employees of city councils and housing and education departments returned to work. The Rebel campaign, the anti-Morsi signature drive that called for the nationwide protests that led to the former president’s ouster, invited young cadres of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, to "rejoin the ranks of the people and not be driven by calls for violence or terrorism." In a statement on Thursday, the Salafi Daawa, Egypt’s largest Salafi group, said it “urges the sons of the Islamic movement to properly assess the situation and realize the change of political conditions.” The National Coalition for Legitimacy said on Wednesday that it calls on all individuals and institutions to abide by the constitution and respect the democratic process that elected President Mohamed Morsi. The coalition repeatedly called on the military to stand by its pledge to protect the nation and remain politically neutral. Amid panic and fear of a possible military attack on an Islamist sit-in, thousands of protesters surrounded the soldiers and vehicles, chanting against Minister of Defense al-Sisi and appealing to soldiers to not attack protesters. [AP, Reuters, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE (Photos), Ahram Online (Video), 7/4/2013]

Also of Interest:
Ninety-one sexual assault cases over 4 days in Egypt’s Tahrir Square: HRW | Ahram Online, DNE
Rebel affirms Egypt army’s support for people, rules out military coup | Ahram Online
Muslim, Christian leaders back Egypt transition | Reuters, SIS
Rule of law must be basis for political resolution: Egypt rights groups | Ahram Online
Tamarod mourns first death | DNE
Al-Ahram staff cordon editor-in-chief, demanding his sacking | Aswat Masriya


Morsi under guard at Republican Guard; Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested
Former president Mohamed Morsi has been “under guard” at the Republican Guards Club since he was ousted as president on Wednesday night, official army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali told the Daily News Egypt. A senior military officer told AFP on Thursday the army was "preventively" holding Morsi. DPA reported that Morsi was put under preventive custody early Thursday at a building inside the Ministry of Defense after being isolated from his presidential team, quoting Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Gehad al-Haddad. All presidential staff were arrested as part of a 300-person list of targets, Haddad revealed. The supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie has been arrested, according to the Associated Press. The Prosecutor General’s office issued arrest warrants on Thursday for the arrest of Badie and Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater. The two leading Brotherhood figures, according to state-owned MENA, are charged with the killing of peaceful protesters in Moqattam, where the group’s headquarters are located. Travel bans were issued for Morsi and fifteen prominent Islamist figures on Thursday. The list of politicians includes Mohamed al-Beltagy, Mohamed Akef, Sobhi Saleh, Essam Sultan, Gamal Gibril, Taher Abdul Mohsen and Mohamed al-Omda, according to state-owned Al-Ahram. They were reportedly detained for insulting the judiciary. Saad al-Katatni, who heads the Freedom and Justice Party, Rashad Bayoumi, the deputy head of the Brotherhood were also detained and taken to Tora Prison, the officials said. Security sources also reported that former Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef was arrested, along with his armed bodyguards. Meanwhile, the Egyptian armed forces issued a warning that they will not allow any assaults on Islamists following the fall of Morsi. The statement went on to stress that no group would be excluded in Egypt. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights issued a statement demanding that former regime figures should be guaranteed free and fair trials. [DNE, Ahram Online, EGYNews, Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic), 7/4/2013]

Sixteen dead, 481 injured in clashes after Morsi downfall
Clashes across Egypt after Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power by the army on Wednesday killed sixteen and injured 481, after clashes broke out in Egyptian cities on Wednesday evening and early Thursday. The sources said that a police officer died on Thursday in Minya, south of Cairo, after sustaining injuries during clashes between Morsi’s supporters and security forces in front of the Minya Security Directorate building. Three Morsi supporters were killed in clashes in the city of Minya, and thirteen others were injured in addition to injured police officers, according to medical sources. In Alexandria, the death toll rose to four, while 150 others were injured. Four were killed in Marsa Matrouh. Ten people were injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi in Damietta on Wednesday, said an Aswat Masriya eyewitness. In Alexandria, a group of Islamists supporting Morsi smashed several shops and prevented residents in the area from celebrating Morsi’s ouster on Wednesday. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 7/4/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s Giza security chief sacked over Cairo university clashes | Ahram Online
Suez Canal secured, unaffected by Egypt events – statement | Reuters
Six men arrested for attacking protesters include Islamists | Aswat Masriya
Ministry of Interior vows to fight violence | DNE


US responses to the fall of Mohamed Morsi
President Barack Obama expressed deep concern about the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday but stopped short of condemning a move that could lead to a cut-off in US aid. He said he was ordering the US government to assess what the military’s actions meant for US foreign aid to Egypt. Under US law, the government must suspend foreign aid to any nation whose elected leader is ousted in a coup d’etat. Meanwhile, US Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, said on Wednesday that his panel would review the $1.5 billion in annual assistance the country sends to Egypt in the wake of Morsi’s ouster. Minutes before Egypt’s army commander announced that Morsi had been deposed and the constitution suspended, the US State Department criticized Morsi, but gave no public signal it was opposed to the army’s action. Before the military statement, US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey on Wednesday warned the Egyptian military of consequences if its overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi is viewed as a coup. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday and the two also spoke last week, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, declining to offer details of the conversations. [Ahram Online, Reuters, AP, 7/4/2013]

World reacts to overthrow of Morsi
A number of world leaders have reacted to the army’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Below is a list of reactions. Others have been happy to denounce it publicly. Here are some of the major reactions from around the world. Britain will work with Egypt’s interim authorities despite not supporting the military intervention that toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Foreign Secretary William Hague said. Qatar‘s new emir congratulated Egypt’s Adly Mansour after he was sworn in as an interim leader. "Qatar will continue to back Egypt in its leading role in the Arab and Muslim worlds," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in remarks carried by the official QNA news agency. China said it supported the "choice of the Egyptian people" and called for dialogue. Syria‘s embattled government hailed Morsi’s ouster as a "great achievement." The United Arab Emirates praised the Egyptian army for ousting President Mohamed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood movement is the target of a crackdown in the oil-rich Gulf state, and congratulated Egypt’s interim president. Saudi King Abdullah sent a message of congratulations to Adly Mansour, on Wednesday for being appointed interim head of state. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said civilian rule in Egypt "should be resumed as soon as possible", and that the country’s future leadership should reflect the Egyptian people’s will. France hoped a timetable would be drawn up respecting "civil peace, pluralism, individual liberties and the achievements of the democratic transition, so that the Egyptian people can freely choose their leaders and their future", French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. An inclusive dialogue between political forces is required in paving the way for a democratic political system in Egypt, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marietje Schaake told Ahram Online. The European Union signaled late Wednesday it recognized the new authorities in Egypt, with the bloc’s foreign policy chief calling for presidential and parliamentary elections to be called soon. The EU said it had no plans to reconsider its aid programs to Egypt after the army ousted Morsi, but EU sources said the aid hinged on its progress in moving towards democracy.

Israel‘s government avoided any show of satisfaction on Thursday over the ouster of Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist president who alarmed many in the Jewish state but quickly made clear he would not renege on a peace treaty. Iran gave a guarded response, calling for the people’s "legitimate demands" to be fulfilled and warning of "foreign and enemy opportunism," but also expressed its respect for the will of the Egyptian people. Russia called on all of Egypt’s political forces to "exercise restraint" and refrain from violence, following the toppling of Morsi by the army.

The party of Tunisia‘s president condemned the Egyptian military’s overthrow as a blow to democracy. "The party condemns the military coup against the democratic process," said Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki’s secularist party, the Congress for the Republic, in a statement. Turkey said the military intervention did not reflect the people’s will and urged the country to "return to democracy". German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said it was "a major setback for democracy in Egypt" and called for "dialogue and political compromise". He added, "It is urgent that Egypt return as quickly as possible to the constitutional order… there is a real danger that the democratic transition in Egypt will be seriously damaged." NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, "I am gravely concerned by the situation in Egypt." He added, "I call on everyone to exercise restraint and refrain from violence, to respect human rights, including the rights of minorities, and the rule of law and to work to establish a democratic and inclusive civilian government as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, the African Union is likely to suspend Egypt from all its activities a senior AU source said on Thursday. The source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that members of the AU’s peace and security council would meet on Friday and were likely to implement the AU’s usual response to any interruption of constitutional rule by a member state. [Egypt Independent, 7/4/2013]

Also of Interest:
US, UK and Canada warn their nationals from travel to Egypt: Official | Ahram Online, AP
Ethiopia ups defense budget amid Egypt tension | AP
Rafah border crossing open for humanitarian cases | Egypt Independent

Photo: AP Photo/Amr Nabil

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