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Pro-Morsi sit-ins were obstacles to roadmap: Egypt's PM

Egypt's Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi says former VP ElBaradei was only member of interim leadership who objected to dispersal of main two sit-ins supporting ousted president Morsi

Ahram Online, Wednesday 28 Aug 2013
Beblawi
Hazem El-Beblawi
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Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said the dispersal of the two sit-ins supporting deposed president Mohamed Morsi was "necessary and inevitable" amid failed negotiations, as they hindered the progress of the post-Morsi political roadmap drawn up upon his ouster almost two months ago.
 
"Mediation failed because there were no constructive suggestions," El-Beblawi said in a television interview Tuesday evening on private satellite channel MBC Masr. 
 
"The government could not have proceeded with amending the constitution and holding polls without dispersing [the two pro-Morsi protest camps] in [Cairo's] Rabaa and [Giza's] Nahda squares - especially as they were not peaceful."
 
On 14 August, security forces violently cleared the two protest locations, which held thousands of Morsi's supporters. The operation, which lasted for several hours, resulted in the death of hundreds and injury of over a thousand protesters.
 
El-Beblawi added that the only member of the National Defence Council – assembled and headed by interim President Adly Mansour – who opposed the dispersal was former vice president Mohamed ElBaradei.
 
ElBaradei resigned shortly after the dispersal of the protests.
 
El-Beblawi also stated that the military, which intervened to oust Morsi following mass protests against his rule, does not want to re-enter politics.
 
"The military has supported popular movement, but military leaders realise that those who have most to lose from military rule are military men themselves," he said, adding that army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was not involved in the process of choosing members of the cabinet, except in the choice of minister of military production.
 
The armed forces came to power following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak two and a half years ago. They relinquished power to Morsi after he won the 2012 presidential elections.
 
El-Beblawi also defended earlier statements made by Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim where he announced that disbanded units in the state security services, notorious for committing human rights violations during Mubarak’s presidency, will be reinstated.
 
"We need a strong internal security body, but it also needs to be free of corruption, without compromising either characteristic."
 
El-Beblawi was appointed following Morsi's ouster. The army-backed roadmap, agreed upon by most of Egypt's political forces, entails holding a constitutional referendum as well as parliamentary and presidential elections within less than a year.
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