Following the momentous events of recent days, Egypt now faces a new transition under a new president and prime minister, writes Dina Ezzat
Having been sworn in last Thursday evening as the interim president of Egypt, chair of the Supreme Constitutional Court Adli Mansour was readying himself on Saturday for the swearing in of the country’s new prime minister Mohammed ElBaradei, a leading opposition figure under ousted former president Mohammed Morsi.
A leading figure in the political movement leading up to the 25 January Revolution that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak and to the 30 June demonstrations that forced a premature end to the rule of the nation’s first elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, ElBaradei is well liked within revolutionary quarters.
However, his task is daunting, since he needs to address a devastating economic situation, weakened international relations, and above all sensitive matters of national reconciliation and transitional justice. ElBaradei will head a government whose other members will be announced over the next few days and possibly by the end of the week.
He will be working with Mansour, who has already appointed Moustafa Hegazi, Ahmed Mesallamani and Ahmed Gamaleddine as advisors for political and media and security affairs. Mansour has also been consulting widely with the country’s various political forces in order to accommodate the anger coming from Political Islam trends after the ouster of former president Morsi.
A message that supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badei had promised to deliver to Brotherhood supporters following his temporary release from house arrest was not in fact delivered, according to official sources.
“The Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership know that they have the chance to be part of the country’s
political scene if they wish to. It is up to them to end the incitement that has been taking place on the part of their cadres, some of whom have been expressing their anger in a violent way,” said one official source.
Speaking following the killing of some 15 supporters of ousted former president Morsi during angry demonstrations and the arrest of more than five Brotherhood leaders, including the influential Khairat al-Shater, the deputy supreme guide of the Brotherhood, the official source said that “it is not at all the intention of the leadership of the state to exclude the Islamists, all of whom will be invited to participate.”
Protestors demonstrating against the ouster of Morsi had been gathering at three points in Cairo and Giza, namely Rabia al-Adawiyya Square in Nasr City, near the headquarters of the presidential guard at an intersection between Heliopolis and Nasr City, and in Al-Nahda Square near Cairo University in Giza.
Hamdi Hassan, a Brotherhood member, said that the rank and file of the organisation were angry and sceptical about intentions to include them in the country’s political process. “We had an elected president who was removed in an extra-judicial fashion, and we have no faith left in the system, suspecting that we could end up being sent to prison once again,” he said.
Under the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak, ousted during the 25 January Revolution, Brotherhood members were subject to systematic persecution that deprived them of their freedoms. Today, many members of the international community have warned Egypt’s new rulers about the dangers of returning to this situation.