EGYPT TO FINISH FORMING CARETAKER GOVERNMENT

16 Jul 2013 07:54

CAIRO, July 16 (Bernama) -- Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy said Monday the cabinet line-up would be announced within a day or two, amid fresh clashes between police and demonstrators in support of ousted leader Mohamed Morsi, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

Speaking at a press conference, Beblawy said the new cabinet, with most members being liberals and technocrats, will be sworn in late Tuesday or on Wednesday.

Mohamed Abu-Shadi, who told official news agency MENA that he has accepted the offer to lead the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, said his top priorities in the coming months would be to improve bread quality, fight corruption and ensure that government subsidies reach precisely those in need.

Ines Abdel Dayem was appointed the culture minister. The renowned artist had served as the head of the Cairo Opera House before he was sacked from the post on May 28 by then Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz, who resigned a few days after Morsi was removed from power.

A MENA report said Monday a few ministerial positions were still open, including that of education, housing, civil aviation and investment.

As Beblawy was wrapping up efforts in finding the right person to lead various ministries, huge crowds in support of Morsi demonstrated in the streets and clashed with the security forces at Ramses Square in Cairo.

While the protestors attempted to take 6th October Bridge leading to Tahrir square where Morsi's opponents are gathering, security forces fired tear gas and blocked the bridge entrance to avoid possible clashes between the two rival groups.

Pro-Morsi protestors responded police blockade by setting cars on the bridge on fire. They also hurled stones at vehicles on the bridge. Traffic on both directions in the area were brought to a halt, and nearby shops were forced to close over worries of violent clashes.

Army helicopters were seen flying over Tahrir and Ramses squares after the clashes.

Hundreds of Morsi's loyalists also marched from their base in Rabaa to the presidential palace and the Republic Guards compound, chanting slogans against the armed forces, which played a central role in Morsi's ouster.

They put up iron barriers and announced an open-ended sit-in.

The Interior Ministry urged all citizens to peacefully express their opinions and not to block the road.

In a statement published on its facebook, the country's armed forces also warned against attempts to approach or storm vital military facilities, saying the army will respond such provocative acts with a firm hand in accordance with the law.

Presidential media adviser Ahmed el-Meslimani said the presidency started preparation for holding a national reconciliation session.

He noted that the violent acts by some groups would not change the current situation and "the only destiny for terrorism is defeat."

-- BERNAMA

RT