Seven people were killed and more than 260 wounded when Islamist supporters of Mohammad Mursi fought opponents of the deposed Egyptian president and security forces, marking a return of violence that overshadowed the naming of an interim cabinet.
Egyptian authorities rounded up more than 400 people over the fighting which raged through the night into Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the army removed Mursi in response to mass demonstrations against him.
Interim Prime Minister Hazem Al Beblawi is forming a government to lead Egypt through a “road map” to restore full civilian rule and to tackle a chaotic economy.
A spokesman for the interim president said Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood had been offered cabinet posts and would participate in the transition. The Brotherhood dismissed the remarks as lies, saying it would never yield its demand for Mursi’s return.
Mursi’s removal has bitterly divided Egypt, with thousands of his supporters maintaining a vigil in a Cairo square to demand his return, swelling to tens of thousands for mass demonstrations every few days.
Two people were killed at a bridge in central Cairo where police and local Mursi opponents clashed with some of his supporters who were blocking a route across the River Nile overnight. Another five were killed in the Cairo district of Giza, said the head of emergency services, Mohamed Sultan.
Mursi is being held incommunicado at an undisclosed location. He has not been charged with any crime but the authorities say they are investigating him over complaints of inciting violence, spying and wrecking the economy.
A week of relative calm had suggested peace might be returning, but that was shattered by the street battles into the early hours of Tuesday morning, the bloodiest since more than 50 Mursi supporters were killed a week ago.
“We were crouched on the ground, we were praying. Suddenly there was shouting. We looked up and the police were on the bridge firing tear gas down on us,” said pro-Mursi protester Adel Asman, 42, who was coughing, spitting and pouring Pepsi on his eyes to ease the effect of tear gas.
The new cabinet is mainly made up of technocrats and liberals, with an emphasis on resurrecting an economy wrecked by two and a half years of turmoil.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait have promised a total of $12 billion in cash, loans and fuel.
Investors do not expect major reforms before a permanent government is put in place.
The new planning minister, Ashraf Al Arabi, said on Monday that the Arab money would sustain Egypt through its transition and it did not need to restart talks with the International Monetary Fund on a stalled emergency loan.
Ahmed Al Moslmany, spokesman for interim President Adli Mansour, said the authorities expected the Brotherhood and other Islamists to agree to participate in national reconciliation and had offered them positions in the interim cabinet.
“I am hoping and expecting, and I am in contact with members from the Muslim Brotherhood, and I can see there is an acceptance to the idea,” he said.
But senior Brotherhood figure Mohamed Al Beltaji said the movement had not been offered posts, and would reject them if it had. “We will not see reconciliation unless it’s on the basis of ending the military coup,” Beltaji said at a square near a Cairo mosque where thousands of Mursi supporters have maintained a vigil into its third week.
At Tahrir Square, rallying point for anti-Mursi protesters, a Reuters reporter saw teenagers in civilian T-shirts being handed rifles by troops in an armoured vehicle. It was not clear if they were civilians or security personnel in plain clothes.
The violence took place on the last night of a two-day visit by US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the first senior Washington official to arrive since the army’s takeover.
Military helicopters hovered overhead and police vans were brought in to quell the trouble. When that didn’t work, dozens of riot police moved in. Medics treated men with deep gashes to their eyes and faces nearby. [Reuters]
US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.
President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.
However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead
Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.
Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
US Election Is Far From Over — Trump
Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.
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