THE GUARDIAN UK
- The Guardian, Thursday 4 July 2013
Egypt is braced for further dramatic events on Friday as the vanquishedMuslim Brotherhood called for a “day of rejection” following a widespread crackdown on its leadership by the country’s new interim president, Adly Mansour.
Supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi, still reeling from the military coup that removed their leader from power, are expected to take to the streets after Friday prayers following a series of raids and arrests that decimated the Muslim Brotherhood’s senior ranks and consolidated the miltary’s hold on the country.
In a stark sign of Egypt’s new political reality, the group’s supreme leader, Mohamed al-Badie, who was untouchable under Morsi’s rule, was one of those arrested.
Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, said: “We are being headhunted all over the country. We are holding a mass rally after Friday prayers to take all peaceful steps necessary to bring down this coup.” He called for demonstrations to be peaceful, despite fears that anger may spill over into violence.
State prosecutors announced on Thursday that Morsi, who is in military custody, would face an investigation starting next week into claims that he had “insulted the presidency” – a move that would appear to put an end to any hopes of a political resurrection.
At his inauguration on Thursday, Mansour, who was appointed as head of the constitutional court on Sunday, said this week’s protests had “corrected the path of the glorious revolution that took place on 25 January 2011”, and that continued revolution was needed until “we stop producing tyrants.”
He also reached out to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, calling the organisation “part of the fabric of Egyptian society”.
“They are just one of its parties and they are invited to integrate. If they answer the call, they will be welcomed,” he told Channel 4 in his first interview.