CAIRO – Supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi rallied Sunday in rival demonstrations that risked new violence as interim leader Adly Mansour sought to pull together a government to restore order.
As demonstrations jammed streets, talks continued on the makeup of an administration. Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, a former lawmaker and ex-head of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, was being discussed as a potential prime minister, with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei a possible vice president, Ahmed El-Meslemani, media adviser to Mansour, said by phone. The new premier is likely to be announced today, he said.
Waving Egyptian flags, anti-Morsi protesters descended on the iconic Tahrir Square and on a presidential complex in Cairo.
Backers of the ousted Islamist president also gathered including in the capital’s Nasr City district, with some chanting Morsi is my president, according to television footage.
The military vowed to protect peaceful protesters in all of Egypt’s squares and warned against any provocative acts in a statement on the Facebook page of its spokesman.
The turmoil convulsing Egypt after Morsi’s removal by the military sparked clashes on Friday that killed about three dozen people and wounded more than 1,000. Compounding the unease is what Morsi’s backers say has been a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the party from which Morsi hailed.
This is a return to the practices of the past that Egyptians revolted against, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref said by phone. The security-oriented mentality is forcing itself on the scene.
Prosecutors ordered the detention for 15 days of the Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy chief, Khairat el-Shater, and Salafi leader Hazem Abu Ismail.
The two are being probed for their role in the deaths of protesters at Cairo University.
Authorities also ordered the arrest of two other Brotherhood members. Salafists follow an ultra-orthodox brand of Islam.