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Egypt: Interim President cracks down on Muslim Brotherhood movement

An uncertain new political order has began to take shape in Egypt.

Written by PTI | Cairo,egypt | Published: July 4, 2013 10:22:15 pm

Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi was put under detention today by the army,which launched a massive crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement,arresting its senior leaders,even as a top jurist took over as the interim head of state. The military rounded up the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood,arresting its supreme leader Mohammed Badie in a resort village in Marsa Matrouh,a day after the army deposed the Arab nation’s first democratically elected President.

He was flown to Cairo on a military helicopter,media reports said quoting officials. Badie,and his powerful deputy,Khairat el-Shater,are wanted for questioning on their role in the killing of eight protesters this week in clashes outside the Brotherhood’s headquarters here. Badie is on a wanted list of more than 200 Brotherhood officials and leaders of other Islamist groups.

As an uncertain new political order began to take shape in Egypt following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi,Justice Adly Mahmoud Mansour – head of High Constitutional Court – took the presidential oath of office. 67-year-old Mansour saluted the army,the judiciary and the police in a brief acceptance speech to rapturous applause. He praised the protesters whose mass demonstrations spurred the military action,calling them a unifying force.

In his remarks,Justice Mansour also paid tribute to the youth of the revolution and all revolutionary forces for taking part in the “glorious day of 30 June.” “I swear by Almighty God that I will uphold the republican system,respect the constitution and the law,look after the interests of the people,protect the independence of the nation and the safety of its land,” Mansour said while taking oath telecast live on state TV. Mansour’s appointment came after the military last night removed Morsi from power,a little more than a year after the 61-year-old Islamist leader assumed office,following massive protests against his style of functioning. In the run-up to the showdown,the powerful army generals and Morsi both pledged to sacrifice their lives to defend the country.

On Tuesday,the army had given a 48-hour ultimatum to Morsi to resolve the political crisis in the wake of massive protests against him that began on the June 30 anniversary of his first year in office. The military today confirmed that it is holding Morsi. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said the deposed president was under “house arrest” at the presidential Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo. He said some members of Morsi’s inner circle have also put under house arrest. Earlier security forces had imposed a travel ban on Morsi and other leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian police said it has orders to arrest 300 leaders and members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

The head of Egypt’s armed forces yesterday ousted Morsi just one year after he was elected as the country’s first democratically elected president in 2012 after nearly three-decades authoritarian rule of strongman Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian army commander Gen Abdel Fattah Sisi on state television issued a declaration suspending the Constitution and appointing Mansour as interim head of state.

Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections,a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups. The move came after Islamist leader refused to quit following the end of a 48-hour deadline set by the army to resolve the political crisis that arose after millions of Egyptian demanding his resignation took to the streets.

Egypt’s iconic Tahrir Square,the hub of the anti-Morsi protesters — erupted into ecstasy as the military announced his outer. This morning,Tahrir Square was calm. The huge crowds that had celebrated Morsi’s removal with horns,cheering,fireworks the night before had thinned out. Protesters accused Morsi and his the Muslim Brotherhood of pursuing an Islamist agenda and of failing to resolve the nation’s economic problems. However,a statement on Morsi’s Facebook page denounced the army move as a “military coup”. Morsi’s statement stressed that he remains the head of state and the supreme commander of the armed forces. At least 10 people were killed when opponents and supporters of Morsi clashed after the army announced of his removal,taking the number of deaths to 50 since Sunday when protesters started the mass movement against the Islamist leader.

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