Friday, July 12, 2013

Mubarak's Old Guard Allies with Salafists

    Friday, July 12, 2013   No comments

Egypt's transitional government is moving forward rapidly with its plans to restore stability and hold new elections. On Tuesday evening, Hazem el-Beblawi, a liberal economist and former finance minister, was named temporary prime minister, while Nobel laureate pro-democracy politician Mohamed ElBaradei was named vice president. The latter was nearly named prime minister just days ago, but that move was hastily blocked by an Islamist party.

The announcement came less than a full day after the government had announced far-reaching decisions as to how the country would proceed following last week's removal of Mohammed Morsi, its first democratically elected president. The rules of the transition were defined by constitutional decree, and for the first time, a timetable was laid out. The Al-Ahram newspaper has even published a scanned version on their website.
The transitional government plans to keep things moving at a rapid pace, probably to outpace critics and quickly set new precedents. Morsi was overthrown just over a week ago, and has since been detained at an undisclosed location without contact with the outside world. Meanwhile, his supporters continue to demand that he be returned to his post, and have planned their latest protest for Tuesday evening. Leading members of the now-weakened Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that backs Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, have rejected the timetable, which would be used until new elections could be held.

The tight schedule is also meant to assuage concerns from abroad, where leaders are asking whether Egypt has strayed from its path toward democratization. The latest reaction from Washington was cautious -- the White House said it was taking time to review the situation.

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