News / Middle East

Morsi Loyalists Protest as Egypt's New Government Begins Work

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans around the prime minister's office in Cairo, July 17, 2013.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans around the prime minister's office in Cairo, July 17, 2013.
VOA News
Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are continuing their mass protests against the political transition underway in Egypt, following the formation of a new interim Cabinet that has no members from Islamist parties.

Street demonstrations continued Wednesday outside Cairo's main government buildings demanding Morsi be returned to power.

"I have come here to protect my vote," one protester said. "I went out to vote in five elections. And then they just trampled on it. So let's go down their path - how can we be sure the army won't take power again? It's unacceptable. We are willing to die here."

The protests are expected to peak after the iftar evening meal when Muslims break their Ramadan fast.

US reviewing situation

In Amman, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters the Obama administration is reviewing whether Morsi's overthrow this month by Egypt's military should be considered a coup, which could require Washington to suspend about $1.5 billion in aid (of which $1.3 billion is in the form of military assistance).

Kerry said the fact that Egypt has moved quickly into a "constitutional process" with a new interim Cabinet filled by “incredibly competent people” would be "measured against the [U.S.] law."

New Cabinet

The new Cabinet led by interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi is composed mainly of liberals and technocrats. Three female ministers were appointed, filling the health, information and environment portfolios.   

It has seven holdovers from the previous administration, including the army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted Morsi and serves as defense minister and deputy prime minister.

EU foreign policy chief meets leaders

Meanwhile, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton became the latest international figure to meet with Egypt's interim leaders, including President Adly Mansour, when she visited the Egyptian capital Wednesday.

An EU spokesman said Ashton stressed the need for Egypt to quickly "return to a full, inclusive, democratic process."

Unlike U.S. envoy William Burns earlier in the week, Ashton is also expected to meet senior figures in Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamist group insists the ousted president be reinstated and has refused to take part in any interim government.

Morsi's removal has bitterly divided Egypt, with thousands of his supporters maintaining a vigil in a Cairo square to demand his return, swelling to tens of thousands for mass demonstrations every few days.

  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi offer their Friday prayer where protesters have installed their camp and held their daily rally, at Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, July 19, 2013. 
  • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi offers his Friday prayer where protesters have installed their camp and held their daily rally, at Nasr city, Cairo, Egypt, July 19, 2013. 
  • A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi holds up a sign with an image of Morsi as they protest at the Rabaa el-Adawiya square where they are camping in Cairo, July 19, 2013. 
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi hold up placards as they shout slogans during a demonstration where protesters have installed their camp, at Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, July 19, 2013. 
  • Egyptian riot police stand guard during a demonstration by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, near Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 17, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi, demonstrate near Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 17, 2013.
  • Supporters of Mohamed Morsi make a fire to stop the effects of tear gas fired by riot police in central Cairo, July 15, 2013.
  • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi wears an Islamic veil which reads "There is no god but God, Mohammed is the messenger of God," during a rally in front of Cairo University, July 16, 2013.
  • A firework fired by opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi explodes during clashes in downtown Cairo, July 15, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi block Giza square during a march near Cairo University, where protesters have been camped out, Cairo, July 15, 2013.
  • A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi cools people off during afternoon prayers at the Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo, July 15, 2013.
  • A Morsi supporter arranges flags for sale in Nasr city, Cairo, July 15, 2013.
  • A supporter of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi attaches a poster at a blocked road linked to the Republican Guard building in Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2013.
  • An Egyptian soldier keeps watch from atop a military vehicle in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, July 14, 2013.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Imthiyaz Ahmed from: Srilanka
July 24, 2013 8:34 PM
Get out Seesi

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 17, 2013 1:27 PM
The Muslim Brotherhood has been taught what they refused to know - not to meddle in political matters. Had it stayed out at the initial stage without fielding a candidate in the first revolution or Spring, there would not have been a need to teach them that religion and politics do not mix in a place like Egypt. Forcing the people to islamize by force is of the 8th century not today. So let the brotherhood that is living in the past be told where they belong - where they are right now. Let there be no going back until the Muslim Brotherhood learns its lesson. Egypt cannot afford to be myopic like the rest of the Arab League and islamic world.

by: priya sharma from: World
July 17, 2013 12:23 PM
The Islamists were offered a place in the cabinet, but refused. They want to get Morsi in through street violence. The protests against Morsi had been attended by 14 million Egyptians. This is the largest every recorded in the world. The Army had no choice but to oust him. The masses were against Morsi.

by: Anonymous
July 17, 2013 9:41 AM
Its sad to see this being called a "political transition" when we all know that it is a non-democratic military coup. The military has forcefully removed the democratically elected leadership because the army and a minority of voters don't like it. But because the coup has installed a liberal non-islamist government, which makes us feel all fuzzy inside, we look the other way and call it a "political transition". The majority of voters who are being ignored will see that we say one thing and do another. Another example of double standards which could very well have significant blow-back.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 17, 2013 1:35 PM
The people's choice must be obeyed not the wolfish cry of a cannibalized group that wants Egypt on the chopping board for dinner. The Egyptian people have spoken and that is what the world is listening to. The days of fascism and authoritarianism are past. The totalitarian oligarchy of the Muslim Brotherhood is intolerable in the present world order, if you must understand the mindset of the world. Iran and North Korea have been much trouble to the world to add Egypt on.
In Response

by: Jim Martinelli from: Toronto
July 17, 2013 12:16 PM
Could not agree more. The criminal who deposed of the democratically elected government appointed himself as a Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister. What a joke. Shame on the US for not condemning the coup and for agreeing to talk with these cronies
In Response

by: ABDUL from: JOHANNESBURG
July 17, 2013 10:39 AM
i agree with your sentiments 100%

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