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Africa

Egyptian Islamists ‘pull out’ of government talks

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-07-08

The task of building an interim government in the wake of former president Mohammed Morsi’s ouster was complicated Monday when the Islamists Nour Party, allied to the military-backed revolt, pulled out of transitional government talks.

The Islamist Nour Party said on Monday that it was pulling out of talks to form a transitional government in protest of an alleged “massacre” perpetrated on members of deposed leader Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood outside a Republican Guard building in Cairo.

Earlier, military and medical sources said one officer and around 15 others were killed during the deadly confrontation.

The news that the Nour Party was quitting the military roadmap came after the group had already rejected two liberal minded candidates for the key post of Egypt’s interim prime minister, a move that undermined efforts to calm deadly unrest in the wake of Morsi’s ouster last week.

The party, which had signed up to the military’s plan, outright rejected liberal political figurehead Mohamed Elbadarei as prime minister on Saturday. It then expressed strong reservations about a second candidate, centre-left lawyer Ziad Bahaa el-Din.

“We don't object to (el-Din) personally, he is an economic pillar,” Nour Party chief Yunis Makhyun told the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television channel on Sunday. “We reject his candidacy because he belonged to [Elbadarei’s] National Salvation Front.”

The group also threatened to further stifle the transition process, which the military has said would lead to new elections at an undetermined date, by warning partners to keep their hands off the constitution.

Makhyoun said that if the interim president throws out the current Islamist-drafted constitution and appoints a panel to write a new one, the party will break with the military-backed road map.

Until now, the military has only “suspended” the constitution, but there are strong calls for certain disputed articles to be amended.

The political deadlock between liberals and Islamists was being played out to a violent backdrop as pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood protests clashed in Cairo and other major cities.

Huge demonstrations have turned violent and killed more dozens of protesters since the army took over last Wednesday.

Date created : 2013-07-08

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