News / Africa

Hardliners Join Calls for Morsi-appointed Luxor Governor to Quit

Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.
x
Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.
Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.
Reuters
A hardline Islamist group called on Saturday on one of its members to resign as governor of Luxor “for the sake of Egypt” despite President Mohamed Morsi defending the appointment.
 
Morsi infuriated many Egyptians this week by swearing in al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor of the town where members of the group massacred 58 tourists at a pharaonic temple in 1997.
 
Some members of Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya were also charged with killing president Anwar Sadat in 1981, along with other politicians and police in the 1980s and 90s. The group renounced violence and condemned al-Qaida in ideological U-turns a decade ago.
 
Many of its members were jailed for decades under former president Hosni Mubarak but Morsi freed them last year shortly after his election following Mubarak's ouster by an uprising in 2011, with many moving into public life.
 
Governor was a suspect, acquitted

In an interview with the state-owned newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm published on Saturday, Morsi said: "There has never been a court ruling against the Luxor governor who was never condemned in the Luxor incident but was a suspect in the assassination of Sadat and was acquitted."
 
The hiring of Luxor governor showed that Morsi, who hails from the relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood group, is openly reaching out for a political alliance with the more radical and former militant group ahead of a big wave of opposition-led protests expected to start on June 30.
 
However, just hours after the paper carried the interview on its front page and three inside pages, Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's political wing called on the new governor to resign.
 
"We are not after any post," the group's leader, Safwat Abdel Ghani told a news conference, adding he expected Khayat to officially announce his resignation on Saturday night. "We asked the new governor to resign for the sake of Egypt."
 
The group may be trying to find a way out of the impasse before the opposition protests by showing it understands the needs of the country and taking the pressure off Morsi. Tourism is one of the mainstays of Egypt's economy, but has suffered badly in two years of unrest.
 
Morsi said al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's newly founded Construction and Development Party “works in the framework of a civil state and the governor was picked after he was seen as better than all other candidates.”
 
Rival Rallies
 
Morsi also appointed many members of his Brotherhood as governors, triggering protests in many cities that prevented the appointees from entering their offices.
 
The president denied the tourism minister had resigned over the Luxor appointment, although a source in the ministry said the minister has stopped going to his office since Khayat was named.
 
Thousands of protesters from al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists' groups staged a big rally on Friday for Morsi and warned opponents, whom they described as atheists, agents for Western states and anti-Islam, that they would crush them if they forced Morsi out.
 
The opposition called it an attempt to “terrorize” them before mass rallies they plan to hold in just over a week's time.
 
Echoing the same language as al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei called on Morsi to resign.
 
“The regime has to understand that time has come for change.... For the sake of Egypt, many Egyptians had elected Morsi and for Egypt I ask President Mohamed Morsi to resign and to leave for a new stage to begin,” he told an opposition rally.
 
The June 30 rally is planned by a group of young independent Egyptians called Tamarod (Rebellion), which says it has gathered more than 15 million signatures in a month from people among the 84 million population wanting Morsi to quit.
 
Both the youth movement and established opposition leaders are demanding an early presidential vote after what they describe as Morsi's failure to live up to any of his promises of more freedoms and better living and economic conditions.
 
But Morsi's allies say he needs more time than one year in office to tackle Egypt's deep economic and political problems. In a previous interview, Morsi described the call for an early presidential vote as “absurd and illegitimate.”
 
In Saturday's interview, Morsi said the call for the June 30 protests “reflects an atmosphere of freedoms granted by the January (2011) revolution,” but said that any expression of opinion has to be done peacefully and that the government was ready to face violence from any side with all measures.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid