Protests in northern Egypt, Luxor against Morsi-appointed governors

Ahram Online, Tuesday 18 Jun 2013

Protesters in governorates of Menoufiya, Damietta, Luxor and Daqahliya object to the appointment of new governors who they view as pro-Brotherhood

Tourism workers and activists in Luxor protest a newly appointed Islamist governor and block his office Tuesday June 18, 2013. (Photo: AP)

In Menoufiya governorate in northern Egypt, dozens of members of opposition groups, including members of the April 6 Youth Movement, El-Tagammu Party, and the Progressive Youth Party have continue their strike in front of the governorate offices for the second consecutive day.

The protest was organised in opposition to the appointment of the new governor Ahmed Shaarawy, reported Ahram's Arabic news website.

Since Sunday, the protestors have closed the doors of the governorate building, securing them with chains, to prevent the entrance of the governor, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Protesters chanted "Menoufiya is free and the Muslim Brotherhood should leave it."

In the nearby Damietta and Daqahliya governorates, newly-appointed governors Tarek Fathallah Khedr and Sobhy Attia Younis both entered their offices for the first time on Tuesday morning without any protests.

There were protests against Khedr in Damietta on Monday, accusing the new governor and the party he is a member of, Ghad El-Thawra, of being loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In Daqahliya, Mohamed Ghoneim, who is a prominent member of the opposition National Change Front, called on Monday for a peaceful strike in front of the governorate building to prevent Younis from entering his office. Younis has served as the spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood in Daqahliya.

Moreover, clashes between the supporters and the opponents of the new governor took place on Monday night, resulting in three injuries.      

President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree announcing a regional governor reshuffle on Sunday. Seventeen newly-appointed governors were sworn in on Monday at the presidential palace in Cairo.

New governors were appointed in the governorates of Alexandria, the Red Sea, Ismailia, Marsa Matrouh, El-Ghandour, New Valley, Port Said, Aswan, Damietta, Luxor, Qena, Beni Suef, Daqahliya, Menoufiya, Qalioubiya, Gharbiya, Beheira, and Fayoum.

The appointment of Adel El-Khayat, a founding member of Egypt's militant Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya group, as governor of the tourist-friendly Luxor governorate also provoked protests outside the local governorate offices on Monday.

Hundreds of protestors gathered in front of the governorate building yesterday to announce their rejection of the appointment of El-Khayyat. Among the protestors were members of the 'Rebel' movement, civil political movements and parties, and employees in the tourism sector.

The president of the General Union of the Egyptian Tourism Chambers Ilhamy El-Zayyat has declared the Union's opposition to the appointment of El-Khayyat. He said that this would have harmful effects on the touristic activities in the governorate, which include one-sixth of the world monuments.

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya were responsible for deadly terrorist attacks in Upper Egypt in the 1990s, but have since renounced violence.

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