Islamists challenge Morsi’s overthrow

PROTESTS. Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi gather as they protest near the headquarters of the Republican Guard, in Cairo, Egypt, 06 July 2013. Photo by EPA/KHALED ELFIQI
American diplomats are trying to persuade the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to accept the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi even as the islamist group vows to broaden its protests. The New York Times reports American diplomats contacted Brotherhood leaders to persuade them to reintegrate into the political mainstream. An Islamist, speaking on condition of anonymity says “They are asking us to legitimize the coup,” adding that accepting the ouster of an elected president would spell the death of Egyptian democracy. The United States Embassy in Cairo declined to comment. This early, splits among the country’s newly dominant political forces show. On Saturday, state news media said Nobel Prize-winning diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei had been chosen as prime minister, but the presidency later backed away from the report after ultraconservatives rejected ElBaradei for being too secular. The infighting leaves a power vacuum that makes it unclear who is running the country. Over the past few days, authorities rounded up Muslim Brotherhood officials and shut down television stations, including Islamist channels. Since then, thousands of Islamists have held a vigil for Mr. Morsi at their new base in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square and outside the officers’ club of the Republican Guard. At the same time, supporters of the military takeover redoubled their efforts to gain international support for Mr. Morsi’s ouster.

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