Egypt's interim president sworn in

CAIRO - The top judge of Egypt's Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmud Mansour, has been sworn in as interim leader, hours after the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi and put him under house arrest.

Mr Mansour praised the armed forces and the Egyptian people, saying the era of "worship of the ruler" should end.

Mr Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, is under house arrest after what he says was a military coup.

The army said he had "failed to meet the demands of the people".

The upheaval comes after days of mass rallies against the Islamist president.

Protesters accused Mr Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood of pursuing an Islamist agenda for the country and of failing to tackle Egypt's economic problems.

Some 50 people have died since the latest unrest began on Sunday.

Mr Mansour was appointed chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court only four days ago, and was sworn in to that office on Thursday morning, before being sworn in as interim head of state.

"I swear to preserve the system of the republic, and respect the constitution and law, and guard the people's interests," he said.

The time had come to "stop our industry of making tyrants", he said, and new elections were "the only way for a brighter future".

The audience repeatedly applauded as Mr Mansour praised the military as "the conscience of the nation and the guarantor of its security and safety".

He also hailed the police, the media, and the judiciary, and urged the Egyptian people to continue their protests.

Mr Morsi's opponents celebrated through the night in Cairo's Tahrir Square, after the army announced it had suspended the Islamist-backed constitution - approved by a referendum in 2012 - and pledged to hold new elections.

The military's move against the Muslim Brotherhood was well planned. Intervention must have been in the mind of the army chief, Gen Sisi, for some time. Muslim Brotherhood activists were arrested. Islamist TV stations were taken off the air.

In the elections that followed the Arab uprisings of 2011, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and its offshoots across the region, did extremely well. That was because it was well organised, with a reputation for honesty, and took advantage of the failure of secular parties to organise themselves.

But now the Egyptian army has inflicted a serious blow on the Muslim Brotherhood. One question is whether the Brotherhood will be forced back underground, as it was when it was banned in the years before 2011.

The Brotherhood foreswore violence many years ago. However, there are jihadist groups in Egypt that have not. The army has calculated it can handle any trouble. But it is playing for high stakes - the future of Egypt.

But a number of people were killed as clashes erupted overnight between Morsi supporters and the security forces in Cairo and Alexandria.

Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, told the BBC the ousted leader had been put under house arrest and the "entire presidential team" was in detention.

Mr Haddad's father, senior Morsi aide Essam el-Haddad, and Saad al-Katatni, head of the Brotherhood's political wing, are among those held.

The state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported that arrest warrants had been issued for 300 leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

US President Barack Obama has said he is "deeply concerned" by the latest turn of events and called for a swift return to civilian rule. - BBC

Comments (1)

Once again THE PEOPLE have won.

jurist - 4 July 2013

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