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Islamist lawmakers demand Morsi’s return in Egypt

Islamist lawmakers in Egypt’s disbanded upper house of parliament demanded Saturday that the army reinstate ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and called on other legislatures around the world not to recognize the country’s new military-backed leadership.

Morsi’s supporters, including his Islamist allies, remain steadfast in their rejection of the military coup that toppled the president nearly two weeks ago after millions took to the street to demand his ouster. They have mounted a series of mass protests in Cairo to push their demands and are vowing to stay in the streets until he is returned to office.

Speaking at a mass rally staged by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, the two-dozen former lawmakers, all Islamist members of the Shura Council that was dissolved by court order after the coup, accused the military of attempting to restore a “corrupt and dictatorial” regime.

Morsi was Egypt’s first freely elected president, succeeding longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in 2011.

The military has brushed aside the Brotherhood’s demands, while the new army-backed administration of interim President Adly Mansour has forged ahead with a timetable to swiftly amend the suspended constitution, drafted under Morsi, and to hold parliamentary and presidential elections by early next year.

Local media have reported that a new cabinet could be named next week. On Saturday, Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr submitted his resignation ahead of the expected shake-up.

While the presidency has floated offers of reconciliation with the Brotherhood, authorities are simultaneously clamping down on the group. Five of its top leaders have been arrested, and arrest warrants have been issued against the group’s top leader and nine other Islamists. Islamist TV networks, meanwhile, have been shuttered.

Prosecutors said Saturday that they are looking into new complaints against Morsi, a number of Brotherhood leaders, including the group’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, and several of their supporters. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, Adel al-Saeed, said the complaints include collaborating with foreign bodies to harm national interests, the killing of peaceful protesters, possession of weapons and explosives, assaults on military barracks and damaging the state of the economy.

It was not immediately known who filed the complaints. State prosecutors investigate numerous complaints daily, and many do not result in charges being brought to court.

— Associated Press


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