CAIRO – Egypt’s interim leader swore in a Cabinet on Tuesday that included women and Christians but no Islamists as the military-backed administration moved swiftly to formalize the new political order and present a more liberal face that is markedly at odds with the deposed president and his supporters.
The changes came at a time of deep polarization and violence in Egypt, including new clashes that killed seven people as part of the continuing bloodshed that has marked the days following the armed forces coup that swept President Mohammed Morsi from office and cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt’s military already wields great influence behind the scenes, and the army chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted Morsi on July 3, was given a promotion. He became a first deputy prime minister in addition to keeping his post as defense minister.
The only Islamist party that supported Morsi’s ouster – the ultraconservative Salafi el-Nour party – was not represented and criticized the leadership as “biased,” lacking inclusion and repeating “the same mistake the last government was blamed for.”