Mursi begins work 
on forming govt

Mursi begins work 
on forming govt

Egypt’s president-elect Dr Mohammed Mursi began selecting a new government on Monday as his supporters pursued a sit-in to pressure the ruling military to hand over full powers to the Islamist.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 26 Jun 2012, 9:16 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:42 PM

After a tight race in which Mursi was forced to reach out to pro-democracy groups, the politician who resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood to take the top job is expected to include ministers who will have the support of his movement’s election allies.

Despite the historic victory in which Mursi was on Sunday declared the first civilian president of Egypt, he still has to contend with a ruling military seeking to retain broad powers and with a precarious economy.

The Muslim Brotherhood that fielded Mursi in the election to replace ousted leader Hosni Mubarak has said it would press on with a sit-in to pressure the ruling generals to relinquish more powers to Mursi.

On Monday, Mursi, once a prisoner under Mubarak’s regime, was moving into the presidential palace and had already begun talks to appoint his new cabinet, days before the military is scheduled to transfer power, Nermine Mohammed Hassan, a campaign spokeswoman said. “He has already started, with a list of names he is considering. He says he will declare the cabinet soon,” she said.

State television showed images of the bearded 60-year-old sitting at a desk in the presidential palace, and others of Mursi sitting next to military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi during a visit to the military’s headquarters.

The military-appointed cabinet offered its resignation on Monday, state media reported, adding that it would assume caretaker responsibilities until Mursi forms a new cabinet.

An official with the military, which took charge after Mubarak’s overthrow in the uprising early last year, said the transfer is still scheduled for June 30.

A senior Brotherhood member, Sobhi Saleh, told the official news agency that Mursi would take the oath in front of the constitutional court instead of in parliament, which the military disbanded earlier this month.

In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Muslim Brotherhood cadres pressed on with a days-long sit-in aimed at pressuring the military to repeal decrees granting it the disbanded parliament’s powers and a broad say in security policies.

The military also has control over the budget drawn up by the outgoing cabinet, which the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament had strongly disputed.

Mursi, who defeated his rival, ex-Mubarak premier Ahmed Shafiq, with 51.7 per cent of the vote, quickly moved to allay domestic and international concerns over the Islamists’ victory in the Arab world’s most populous country.

The Cairo stock exchange closed up 7.5 per cent on Monday at 4,482.48 points, its largest increase in more than a year, amid optimism that the official announcement of a president would help stabilise the country.

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