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Islamists blast Egypt’s transition plan

Opponents and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi blasted a new charter granting Egypt’s interim president extensive powers, as talks for a new cabinet were to begin on Wednesday.

The military’s ouster a week ago of Morsi, after massive protests calling for his resignation, has pushed the divided country into a vortex of violence that has already claimed dozens of lives. In the worst incident since Morsi’s overthrow on July 3, at least 51 people, most of them supporters of the ousted Islamist, died in clashes outside military barracks in Cairo on Monday.

Cracks within the coalition that lobbied for Morsi’s ouster, and defiant protests by his loyalists, have returned the country to an uncertain transition to democracy with elections scheduled next year.
In the restive Sinai peninsula, two people were killed early Wednesday when militants struck several police and army positions with mortar rounds and rocket propelled grenades.

The fresh violence came less than a day after interim president Adly Mansour laid out a timetable for elections by early next year and appointed economist Hazem al-Beblawi as prime minister and Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei as vice president responsible for foreign affairs.
Beblawi was on Wednesday to begin talks on forming his cabinet, the official MENA news agency said.

Quoting a presidential aide, MENA added that Beblawi planning to extend an olive branch to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood by offering them cabinet posts.
The conciliatory move will likely be rejected by the Brotherhood which has vowed to keep up street protests until Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, is reinstated. The Muslim Brotherhood has already spurned Mansour’s temporary charter as a decree enforced by ‘putchists’.
Agencies

Agencies

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