The violence and discord in Egypt following the removal from office of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi continues, as on Wednesday his supporters held another demonstration in cities around the country in rejection of the new interim government.
Just hours before the cabinet took office several Mursi supporters died, and hundreds were injured in rallies, and the week before more than 50 died in violent conflicts with the army.
Violence over the course of the week has highlighted the deepening divisions between the Islamist supporters of Mursi, and the new secularist government, preventing a smoother transition of rule that would have helped the country. Mursi’s political party, the Freedom and Justice party, has declared this new government illegitimate.
Related article: Ten Reasons Why Egypt is Vital to the US Economy and Security
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, who was sworn in to office on the 16th July, along with the new secularist cabinet, and faces the troubling task of restoring order after military leaders removed Mursi from power, and reviving the economy which struggled throughout his term; the task is made all the more difficult by the protests and attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Mursi.
Prime Minister Hazam El-Beblawi. (RFERL)
Bloomberg reports that unemployment has reached a record high, and foreign reserves are less than half of their December 2010 levels. The new government has been promised $12 billion in aid from foreign countries, and a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), applied for during Mursi’s time in charge but never approved due to his inability to provide political consensus and a clear economic plan, is still pending.
Mostafa Hegazy, President Adly Mansour’s political advisor, told reporters that the government will call on all parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, to sit down for talks to reconcile the national problems next week. However officials from the Brotherhood, along with the conservative Salafi Nour Party, have declared that they will not take part in the discussions.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com