Interim cabinet sworn in in Egypt

Tuesday 16 July 2013 23.25
The Muslim Brotherhood said it would never yield in its demand for Mohammed Mursi's return
The Muslim Brotherhood said it would never yield in its demand for Mohammed Mursi's return

Egypt's army-backed leaders swore in a new interim cabinet today after a night of street violence.

None of the ministers represent either of the main Islamist groups that have won five straight elections since 2011.

Seven people were killed overnight and more than 260 wounded in running battles between supporters of toppled president Mohammed Mursi and the security forces.

In the presidential palace, 33 mainly liberal and technocratic ministers took turns being sworn in by Adli Mansour, a judge installed as interim head of state by the army when it deposed Mr Mursi on 3 July.

The armed forces chief who removed him, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was given the post of first deputy to interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, a 76-year-old liberal economist who has been given the task of implementing a "road map" to restore civilian rule and repair a crumbling economy.

Mr Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement reacted angrily.

"It's an illegitimate government, an illegitimate prime minister, an illegitimate cabinet. We don't recognise anyone in it.

"We don't even recognise their authority as representatives of the government," its spokesman Gehad El-Haddad told Reuters.

Not one of the new ministers is from either Mr Mursi's Brotherhood or Nour, the other main Islamist group.

Together they have won two parliamentary elections, a presidential vote and two constitutional referendums since the 2011 uprising that brought down long-serving, army-backed autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The army said it was carrying out the popular will when it removed Mr Mursi after millions took to the streets to demand his resignation at the end of June.

A spokesman for Interim President Mansour said Nour and the Brotherhood had both been offered cabinet posts and he believed they would participate in the transition.

The Brotherhood said it would never yield in its demand for Mr Mursi's return. Nour said it was reserving its judgment on the cabinet for now.