Mohamed ElBaradei 390 (R).
(photo credit: Stringer Egypt / Reuters)
CAIRO - Egypt's political transition after President Mohamed Morsi was
ousted by the military stumbled at the first hurdle, after the choice of
liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei as interim prime minister was
thrown into doubt by Islamist objections.
had been confirmed by several sources and state media on Saturday, but
just before midnight a presidential spokesman told reporters that the
prime minister had not in fact been chosen.
The abrupt U-turn
came amid opposition to the appointment by the Nour Party, Egypt's
second Islamist force after Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement,
highlighting the challenge the military faces in finding consensus among
liberals and conservatives on who should run the country.
between tens of thousands of pro- and anti-Morsi protesters swept the
Arab world's most populous nation on Friday and at least 35 people were
killed and more than 1,000 wounded.
The violence, which saw rival
factions fighting street battles in central Cairo and many other
cities and towns, underlined the pressing need for a swift political
solution seen as inclusive to all.
"We extend our hand to
everyone, everyone is a part of this nation," the spokesman told
reporters. "The Muslim Brotherhood has plenty of opportunities to run
for all elections including the coming presidential elections or the
ones to follow."
Minutes after he spoke, state media reported
that the public prosecutor ordered that four top Brotherhood leaders
held this week be detained for a further 15 days on accusations that
they incited violence against protesters.
The four included Saad el-Katatni, head of the group's political wing, and Khairat El-Shater, its political strategist.ISLAMIST SUPPORT CRUCIAL
Brotherhood has said it wants nothing to do with the military's plans
for a new interim government. It believes Morsi should be reinstated,
and has pledged to keep protesting until he is.
The Nour Party,
however, had agreed to the army-backed transition plan leading to new
elections. Its withdrawal from the process would strip that plan of
vital Islamist support.
And following the Nour rejection, the interim administration headed by Adli Mansour delayed naming the new prime minister.
Sunday, people were still reeling from one of the bloodiest days in
over two years of tumultuous upheaval since autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who
ruled for 30 years, was toppled in a popular uprising that was part of
the 2011 "Arab Spring".
The Brotherhood called for another day of
protest on Sunday, meaning that relative calm on Saturday may prove to
be only a temporary lull.