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Egypt's Acting Prime Minister To Form New Cabinet

  • RFE/RL

Egypt's interim prime minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, has begun consultations to form a new government.

Acting President Adli Mansour on July 9 appointed Beblawi, a former finance minister, the head of government and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad ElBaradei as vice president in charge of foreign affairs.

Beblawi planned to meet with ElBaradei and member of parliament Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, who is one of Egypt's leading liberal politicians.

Beblawi told Reuters he accepted that it would be difficult to win the unanimous support of Egyptians for his new government.

Beblawi is expected to also offer cabinet posts to members of deposed President Muhammad Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the Brotherhood said on July 10 that it would not deal with "putschists" -- a reference to the military's July 3 ouster of Morsi.

A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman said the group would not take part in an interim cabinet and that talk of national reconciliation under the current circumstances was "irrelevant."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said on July 10 that Morsi was currently being held in a "safe place, for his safety," but had not been charged with anything "up until now."

Meanwhile, Egypt's prosecutor-general has issued an arrest warrant for Muhammad Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader, and nine others for allegedly instigating violence that left more than 50 of the group's supporters dead in clashes with the military this week.

Egypt's main liberal alliance, the National Salvation Front (NSF), has toned down its initial rejection of Mansour's road map for a new constitution and fresh elections. The NSF said it did not agree with all the points of the road map but would communicate its objections to Mansour.

Suez Attacks

In a separate development, militants have reportedly attacked a security checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least two people.

The gunmen stormed the post in an area called Sadr Haitan in central Sinai early on July 10.

At least six people were wounded in the attack.

Sinai has witnessed a series of daily attacks on police and army posts since Morsi was forced out.

Islamic extremists and former jihadists have threatened to escalate attacks in retaliation for Morsi's ouster.

It was immediately unclear if the attack was related to the political turmoil sparked by Morsi's ouster.

'Disproportionate' Force

Rights watchdog Amnesty International, meanwhile, says it has evidence showing a "disproportionate" use of lethal force by Egyptian troops during protests earlier this week.

At least 51 people, most of them Morsi supporters, died in clashes outside the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard on July 8.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said security forces "massacred" their supporters as they performed dawn prayers.

The army said it came under attack by "terrorists."

Amnesty International's deputy regional director, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said in a statement on July 10 that visits to morgues and hospitals in Cairo and Alexandria and testimonies gathered from injured protesters suggested "the use of disproportionate force," which included "intentional lethal force."

A group of 15 Egyptian rights organizations has issued a joint statement calling for an independent investigation into the deaths.

With reporting by Reuters, BBC, and Eipr.org
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