Friday, July 5, 2013

Egypt Launches Post-Coup Crackdown

At WSJ, "Egypt Military Launches Crackdown: Army Reasserts Authority, Arresting Islamist Leaders and Installing New President":

CAIRO—Egypt's military reclaimed its role as the country's dominant political force as it installed a new president and pressed for the arrests of Islamist leaders it had forced from power, deepening international concern for the stability and democratic future of the largest country in the Arab world.

A day after the army seized on antigovernment protests to overthrow President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, a dozen fighter jets buzzed downtown Cairo with trails of red, white and black smoke, the colors of the Egyptian flag.

As the military sounded a victorious chord, Mr. Morsi and some top Muslim Brotherhood allies were already in police custody and the Islamist organization was reviving its longtime role as an opposition force, organizing large-scale nationwide protests for Friday.

The military's sudden recalibration of political forces followed an outpouring of popular discontent with Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. An array of voices backed those protests, among them a contingent of re-emergent loyalists to Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted by a popular revolution—with military support—over two years ago.

Some of those former Mubarak loyalists have re-emerged to take new roles in the transition ahead, according to people close to discussions between the military and anti-Morsi activists.

That transition—and a new era of potential turmoil—kicked off on Thursday with the swearing-in of military-appointed president Adly Mansour, a judge who had been named head of the Supreme Constitutional Court on Monday. Mr. Mansour took two oaths on Thursday morning: The first made him chief justice and the second elevated him to the presidency. Mr. Mansour is to remain president until new elections are held, at an unspecified date, according to the military's transition plan. The military has also suspended Egypt's new constitution, which was drafted by the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Constituent Assembly and signed into law by Mr. Morsi in December, after a national referendum.

In a sign of this week's reversal of fortunes, Egypt's acting attorney general on Thursday issued arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood supreme leader Mohamed Badie and his deputy, Khairat al Shater, according to Mena, the state news agency. The two are wanted on charges of inciting the killing of eight protesters in front of the Brotherhood's headquarters in Cairo.
Continue reading.

And at LAT, "Egypt military cracks down on Muslim Brotherhood."