Egypt Salafists Oppose Coptic Vice Presidential Candidates

Article Summary
The Salafist al-Nour party objected Morsi’s potential selection of a Coptic vice president, stating that sectarian-based appointments set a dangerous precedent. In the meantime, Morsi faces even more challenges as workers protested for the third day.

The Salafist al-Nour party warned President Mohammed Morsi against choosing a Coptic vice president, saying that this would set a precedent of sectarian-based appointments for state positions.

Mohammed Nour, the party’s spokesman, said that the party rejects the appointment of anyone, be they Muslim or Christian, to any government position on the basis of their sect. He added that the church's nomination of vice presidential candidate will mark the beginning of positions in Egypt being divided along sectarian lines.

An al-Nour leader anonymously revealed that the party has nominated four of its members for the VP position: Ashraf Thabet, Ahmed Khalil, Mohammed Nour and Dr. Bassam al-Zarqa.

Sayed Mustafa, vice president of the party, said that the names of the party's candidates for ministerial and advising positions will be announced after the party’s leaders meet with the president. He also pointed out that the party has already prepared skilled members to assume positions in the new government.

On a side development, a leader in the Freedom and Justice Party said that there is a dispute between his party and al-Nour because the Salafists adamantly want to head the ministries of health and education, whereas his party is trying to control those two ministries along with the ministries of culture, petroleum, finance, agriculture and local development.

Headaches of the New Government

Consultations over the formation of a new government are marking time. Morsi has not yet found a prime minister.  Sources close to the presidency confirmed that previously excluded candidates are now back on the list of potential prime ministers, and one of the three candidates will be chosen to assume the position. The candidates are: Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Constitution Party founders agent, Dr. Hossam Issa, Professor of Law at Ain Shams University and Dr. Hazem Beblawi, former deputy prime minister.

The anonymous sources said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) will take part, along with the president, in the selection of the ministers of foreign affairs, interior and justice.  Dr. Yasser Ali, acting presidential spokesman, said, “The president will soon form a government," but he refused to specify an exact time for this feat to be accomplished.

$5 Billion Needed for Ministry of Finance Development Projects

In a press release yesterday [July 3], Minister of Finance Momtaz Saeed said that Egypt now needs roughly $5 billion or more in long-term financing to finance the basic requirements of strategic food commodities, as well as to establish national development projects for creating new job opportunities.

A source from the Freedom and Justice Party confirmed that there will be no further negotiations regarding the International Monetary Fund loan, which amounts to $3.2 billion.

The source said that negotiations are underway with some Arab countries such as Qatar, as well as with Turkey and some EU countries, to increase their investment in Egypt. The negotiations are also aimed at finding an agreement on funding packages in a bid to support the Egyptian economy in the next phase.

Workers' Demonstrations Continue to March Toward Al-Ittihadiya [Palace]

Yesterday, hundreds of workers at the Italian tire company Pirelli, along with observers from the environmental monitoring units in the Cairo governorate joined the ongoing workers' demonstrations. These demonstrations have been going on for days in front of Gate 3 of the Republican Palace in Heliopolis, peaking two days ago when Ceramica Cleopatra workers decided to demonstrate.

Demonstrators denounced what they described as "abuse" on the part of their institutions, demanding that a delegation representing them be allowed to meet with Morsi to inform him about their problems.

Demonstrators carried banners that read "President Morsi said it loudly...I will take care of workers proudly,” "Come on work soldiers! Ask for days like Abdel Nasser's” and "Saddat, Saddat you have been missed, the workers now are really pissed.”

The continuation of the protests, which moved from the sidewalk of the parliament building to the presidential palace, was described by the Muslim Brotherhood as pressure on President Morsi at the beginning of his mandate. For their part, some residents and shopkeepers around the palace described the situation as a "crisis" affecting Egypt’s stagnated trade issues.

Found in: salafists, egypt elections, coptic vice president, al-nour party, ceramica cleopatra workers, mohammed morsi, egypt, al-nour

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