Egypt Seeks Islamist Arrests as Brotherhood Shuns Cabinet

Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi sought to mend partisan rifts as he pulled together a cabinet, while an arrest warrant for the Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader fueled tension between Islamists and the military.
Prosecutors sought Mohammed Badie, the head of the Brotherhood which fielded ousted President Mohamed Mursi, and nine others on grounds they encouraged Cairo violence on July 8 when dozens were killed by security forces. As the detention orders were announced, Hamza Zawba, a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political arm, said it won’t engage in talks until Mursi is reinstated.
“We’re not going to take part in an illegitimate process, or in talks held over the bodies of martyrs,” Zawba said by phone yesterday. “The whole post-June 30 political process is void,” he said, referring to the start of protests against Mursi that culminated in his removal by the military.
El-Beblawi, who was appointed July 9, is seeking to cobble together a team of ministers to revive a crumbling economy and address months of political polarization. His administration faces opposition from Mursi supporters who described the removal of the former leader as a coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected civilian president.
El-Beblawi said that while he’s reaching out to various parties, it would be difficult to secure the backing of all Egyptians for his choices, the state-run Al-Ahram reported today.
Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for the National Salvation Front, a bloc that opposed Mursi, said the Brotherhood needs to “recognize the new reality.”
‘Popular Demand’
“The Muslim Brotherhood will keep on isolating themselves further, not just by rejecting government posts but, most importantly, by inciting violence,” he said. “They have to admit that President Mursi went out of office not because of a military coup; he went out of office upon popular demand.”
The arrest warrants against Badie, deputy Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Ezzat and others named by the state-run news agency yesterday fueled complaints by the group that there is a crackdown against them.
The warrants are “politically motivated” and intended to dismantle the protest movement, Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad wrote on his Twitter account. He decried what he said were the “same old police state tactics.”

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