The Muslim Brotherhood has reached some agreements with the army on the powers
that Egypt’s first Islamist president will hold and the fate of the dissolved
Islamist-led parliament, Brotherhood officials said on Tuesday.
elected president, Mohamed Morsy, toured his palace on Monday. But after
savoring the victory that installed him in place of the Brotherhood’s ousted
enemy Hosni Mubarak, he immediately went to see the generals in the Defense
Ministry in a visit that seemed to underline who really calls the
Morsy, seeking to fulfill a promise of inclusive government, will
name six vice presidents – a woman, a Christian and others drawn from
non-Brotherhood political groups – to act as an advisory panel, said Sameh
Essawi, an aide to the president.
Morsy has resigned as head of the
Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to be a “president for all Egyptians,”
but critics question his independence from the movement’s opaque leadership. The
party appointed Essam el-Erian as its interim leader on Tuesday to replace
A senior Brotherhood aide, who asked not to be named, said Morsy’s
team and the generals who have ruled Egypt since Mubarak’s removal had also
agreed on how ministries should be divided in the cabinet.
ministries of finance and foreign affairs would go to the Brotherhood provided
they steer clear of the defense, interior and justice ministries,” the aide
Morsy met police commanders on Tuesday at the police academy where
Mubarak’s trial was held. The police come under the Interior Ministry, run by
ex-police chiefs in Mubarak’s day.
Meanwhile, speculations continued on
Tuesday about who Morsy would select to form his new cabinet.Al-Shorouk
newspaper reported unnamed political sources as saying the president-elect had
contacted Mohamed ElBaradei regarding his possible candidacy for a “senior
political role,” but did not specify exactly what that would
According to al-Shorouk
, Dr. Khaled Hanafy of the Freedom and Justice
Party, said that “all options are open” for the post of prime
However, as the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)
remains in control and without a constitution to define the new president’s
powers, it is still unclear what authority Morsy will have – a position noted by
former presidential candidate Abdel- Moneim Abu-Fotouh in a Monday press
conference, when he described Morsy as “a ghost without the will or authority of
a real president.”
Meanwhile, in a significant move on Tuesday, Egypt’s
Supreme Administrative Court ruled to annul a controversial decree that
empowered the military to make civilian arrests. The Ministry of Justice issued
the decree on June 13.
Earlier on Tuesday, the court delayed until July
rulings on four lawsuits against controversial decrees made by the ruling
The court postponed until July 7 a ruling on SCAF’s
decision to dissolve parliament and until July 10 another ruling on a lawsuit
brought against the recent SCAF-issued supplementary constitutional declaration,
which greatly reduces the president’s powers and stipulates that the military
junta retain legislative powers until the election of a new
As the court delayed ruling on these key issues, a question
mark remained over where Morsy will take his presidential oath, which is
expected to take place on Saturday.
The Muslim Brotherhood has previously
said that it does not accept SCAF’s decree to dissolve parliament or its June 17
issuing of a supplementary constitutional declaration.
According to a
report by Egyptian daily al-Ahram
on Tuesday, Morsy will likely refuse to swear
the oath in front of the High Constitutional Court – as decreed in the
supplementary constitutional declaration – because to do so would indicate that
he accepted both the supplementary declaration and the ruling to dissolve
Also ahead of Morsy’s swearing the oath of office, Egypt’s
non-Muslim minorities remained anxious about what a Muslim Brotherhood president
could mean for them.
Coptic Christians, who comprise around 10 percent of
Egypt’s population, overwhelmingly favored Morsy’s rival, Ahmed Shafik, in the
runoff elections. Copts have not welcome the news of Morsy’s victory, fearing
increased violence from an Islamist-led country.
On Tuesday, Morsy’s
policy adviser Ahmed Deif reiterated that Morsy wanted an inclusive Egypt in an
interview with CNN, saying that one of the new president’s first steps will be
to appoint a Christian vice president and another female vice
Deif said that an Egyptian woman would, for the first time in
history, take such a senior political role.
“Not just a vice president
who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is
powerful and empowered, and will be taking care of critical advising within the
presidential cabinet,” Deif told CNN.
Deif added that Morsy wants to
create a “constitutional, civil, modern state that respects and enjoys its
culture, principles and religions. Not just Islam but Islam and Christianity.”
The president-elect, Deif told CNN, had never called for “an Islamic Republic in
While the president-elect and his aides continue to emphasize
inclusiveness, his moves are being scrutinized by an anonymous group of Egyptian
activists, who have set up a website, dubbed the “Morsimeter,” to monitor
Morsy’s performance in his first 100 days in office.
Meanwhile, also on
Tuesday, defeated presidential candidate Shafik left Egypt to undertake a
religious pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, according to a press release issued by his
campaign team. The announcement came a day after a prosecutor referred
corruption lawsuits naming Shafik to an investigating judge.
Shafik left today at dawn for Abu Dhabi and from there – God willing – he will
travel to the holy lands of Saudi Arabia to perform the umrah
Mecca] before returning to his native Egypt safely, God willing,” Shafik’s
campaign team said in a message on his official Facebook page.
same press release, Shafik’s campaign team said the defeated presidential
candidate would start a new political party, which would “be a conduit for
millions of Egyptians interested in a modern, civil and centrist state,
following Shafik’s slogan of ‘Egypt is for all Egyptians.’”