Egypt restores ex-generals' role in provinces
Cairo, August 14, 2013
Egypt's interim president named at least 18 new provincial governors on Tuesday, half of them retired generals, in a shake-up that pushed out Muslim Brotherhood members and restored the influence of men from army and police backgrounds.
Deposed president Mohamed Mursi had appointed a number of civilians as provincial governors during his year in office, some of them members of his Brotherhood. That marked a break with the Hosni Mubarak era, when the posts typically went to retired army and police officers.
The new appointees were sworn in by Interim President Adli Mansour, head of the army-backed government, which replaced the Mursi administration that was removed last month after mass protests against Brotherhood rule.
Critics said the line-up announced on Tuesday was a step back towards autocratic rule.
"It is Mubarak's days," prominent blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah wrote on his Twitter feed. "Down, down with every Mubarak. Sisi is Mubarak," he added, referring to General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the army chief who deposed Mursi.
In a meeting at the presidential palace, Mansour told the governors their priority was to improve public services, "provide essential commodities at appropriate prices, and bring about security in the Egyptian street".
Yasser El-Shimy, Egypt analyst with the International Crisis Group, called the move a "partial return to the status quo ante, where the appointment of retired generals is seen as a way to ensure order and stability".
"This move will likely play into Islamist accusations that the new regime is an attempt at reviving the old one," he said.
The Nour Party, Egypt's second biggest Islamist group, said the appointments were disappointing and had been made without any consultation. "The choice confirms we are heading in the path of the militarisation of the state," Sherif Taha, the party spokesman, told Reuters.
The "April 6" pro-democracy youth movement, which played a prominent role in igniting the revolt against Mubarak, said the appointments included too many military men and remnants of the old regime.
"Holding on to the old faces that contributed to ruining political life before the revolution is a new failure for the current administration," the movement said on its website.
In his final days in office, Mursi drew criticism when he appointed a member of the Gamaa Islamiya, a group that once waged an armed struggle for Islamic rule, as governor of Luxor, where members of the movement killed 58 tourists in 1997.
Mursi's appointment of Brotherhood members as provincial governors fuelled accusations that his movement was staging a power grab - a charge the Brotherhood always denied, but which added fuel to the uprising against his rule.
Strong Egypt, a party led by former Brotherhood politician Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, described the shake-up as "a step towards the militarisation of the state that copied the approach of the Brotherhood", Al-Ahram reported, quoting a spokesman.
Writing on his Facebook page, Mohamed Abu Hamed, a former member of parliament, said it was "a very positive step" towards implementing an army-backed "road map" that envisages parliamentary elections within about five months. The Brotherhood rejects the plan and continues to demand Mursi's reinstatement. - Reuters
More Government & Laws Stories
- Norton Rose Fulbright moves London head to Dubai
- DSG ‘ready to implement Smart Dubai Strategy’
- Iraqi women protest new draft law
- Bahrain police 'face more danger in line of duty'
- Saudi names Brotherhood as terrorist group
- Qatar outraged over terror claims
- Bahrain PM condemns exploitation of children
- Qatar will not alter foreign policy: source
- Bahrain accuses Iran of fomenting trouble
- 'Put security before rights' in Bahrain: publisher
- 'Hizbollah trained Daih blast suspect'
- Key terror blast suspects named in Bahrain
- $2.6m Royal Fund for martyrs set up
- Bahrain to draw up new anti-terror laws
- GCC ROW: Qatar voices surprise over envoys pull out
- GCC tobacco tax rise ‘will fuel illicit trade’
- Saudi, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar
- Bahrain explosion draws global condemnation
- GDN photographer hurt in blast is discharged
- Iran playing increasing role in Bahrain unrest
- Bahrain launches 6-point plan to fight terror
- Sisi gives sign he will run for president
- New Saudi clamp on energy drinks
- Health insurance must for Saudi visa
- Qatari doctor gets 7 years jail in UAE
- Family violence law articles approved in Bahrain
- Credit card thief jailed in Bahrain
- GDN photographer hurt in Bahrain explosion
- Bahrain King orders crackdown on terrorists
- Bahrain's 4-year development plan on track