x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Brotherhood not ruled out of cabinet, says Egypt's PM

Egypt's premier says he has not ruled out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in his cabinet if candidates are qualified, even as police crack down on the Islamist group.

CAIRO // Egypt's premier said yesterday he does not rule out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in his cabinet if candidates are qualified, even as police cracked down on the Islamist group.

Hazem El Beblawi, who was appointed on Tuesday, said he was still considering the make-up of his interim government after president Mohammed Morsi was overthrown.

"I don't look at political association ... If someone is named from the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, if he is qualified for the post" he may be considered, Mr El Beblawi said.

"I'm taking two criteria for the next government. Efficiency and credibility," he added.

"So far I haven't approached anyone," he said, explaining he wanted to decide on the best candidates before asking them to join the government.

The Brotherhood has already rejected an offer from Mr El Beblawi to join the new government, and called for a mass rally today against what it called "a bloody military coup".

An anti-Morsi camp meanwhile is reported to be planning a Cairo rally to mark the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan following Friday prayers.