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Muslim Brotherhood Rejects Egyptian Transition Decree

  • RFE/RL

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official has rejected a road map for a new constitution and elections issued by Egypt's interim president, Adli Mansour.

The constitution was suspended last week when the army removed Islamist President Muhammad Morsi from power following mass protests against his rule.

Essam al-Erian, the deputy head of the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said Mansour's road map represented "a constitutional decree by a man appointed by putschists," which "brings the country back to square one."

The decree issued on July 8 by Mansour provides for setting up a panel of judicial experts within the next two weeks.

The panel would work on amending the current constitution, which was drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly and approved in a referendum in December 2012.

The new draft would then be put to a referendum by late November, which could be followed by new parliamentary elections in early 2014.

Mansour issued the decree late on July 8.

WATCH: Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood continued protesting overnight and called for further protests on July 9.

Mansour's road map was issued shortly after at least 51 people were killed early in the day at the Cairo barracks where Morsi is believed to be held. Emergency services said 435 people were wounded.

The Muslim Brotherhood said its supporters were fired on during a protest outside the building. The army says it responded to an armed provocation.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement and its allies have vowed to continue protests until Morsi is brought back to power and called for more demonstrations.

Was It A Coup D'Etat?

In the United States, White House spokesman Jay Carney reacted on July 8 to the politically related violence in Egypt.

"We express our condolences to those who have been killed and their families and hope that those who are wounded or have been wounded recover quickly," Carney said.

"We call on the military to use maximum restraint responding to protesters just as we urge all those demonstrating to do so peacefully. We also condemn the explicit calls to violence made by the Muslim Brotherhood."

Carney said that Washington would not halt aid to Egypt for now. He said the United States was still reviewing whether the Egyptian military's ouster of Morsi should be labeled a coup.

Under U.S. law, that would force the United States to stop sending aid to Egypt.

The Egyptian military receives $1.3 billion a year from Washington. It has contended that the overthrow was not a coup and that it was enforcing the "will of the people" after millions took to the streets on June 30 to call for Morsi's resignation.

With reporting by AFP, dpa, AP, and Reuters