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Egypt PM says won’t rule out Brotherhood role in new govt

CAIRO: Egypt’s prime minister said yesterday he does not rule out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in his Cabinet if candidates are qualified, even as police cracked down on ousted President Muhammad Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Hazem Al-Beblawi, who was appointed on Tuesday, told AFP in a telephone interview he was still considering the makeup of his interim government after Mursi’s overthrow in a popular military coup last week.
“I don’t look at political association ... If someone is named from (the Brotherhood’s) Freedom and Justice Party, if he is qualified for the post” he may be considered, Beblawi said.
“I’m taking two criteria for the next government. Efficiency and credibility,” he added.
“So far I haven’t approached anyone,” Beblawi said, explaining he wanted to decide on the best candidates before asking them to join the government.
Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already rejected an offer from Beblawi to join the new government, and called for a mass rally on Friday against what it called “a bloody military coup.”
An anti-Mursi camp meanwhile is reported to be planning a Cairo rally to mark the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan following Friday prayers tomorrow.
The rally planned in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, epicenter of the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak, raises the possibility of further violence following a week of bloodshed after Mursi’s July 3 ouster. In the bloodiest incident, clashes around an army building on Monday left 53 people dead, mostly Mursi partisans.
Police were searching for the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, after a warrant was issued for his arrest on Wednesday, in connection with the violence.
Badie and other senior Brotherhood leaders are wanted on suspicion of inciting the clashes, judicial sources said.
After a year in power through Mursi, the Brotherhood is now in tatters, with much of its leadership detained, on the run or keeping a low profile following Mursi’s overthrow.
Mursi himself is currently being held in a “safe place, for his safety,” foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told reporters Wednesday, adding: “He is not charged with anything up till now,” he said.
Military and judicial sources have said the ousted leader may face charges eventually.
His overthrow by the military last week, after nationwide protests demanding his resignation, has plunged Egypt into a vortex of violence.
Thousands of Mursi supporters Wednesday evening joined those camped out at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City, to break the daily Ramadan fast.
They vowed to leave only when Mursi, the country’s first freely elected president, is reinstated.
“We are gathering here for Mursi. I voted for him and I want to know where he is,” said protester Mohammed, 47. “We will stay here either until the president’s return or martyrdom,” he said.


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