Unrest in Egypt's Nile Delta over new Islamist governors

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Jun 2013

Appointment of Brotherhood-affiliated governors provokes angry protests in Daqahliya, Gharbiya and Kafr El-Sheikh

Muslim brotherhood's headquarter in Gharbia was torched by anti-government protestors (Photo: Mohamed Mabrouk)

Anger at the appointment of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated governors continued across the Nile Delta on Tuesday.

Demonstrators in Mansoura attacked the office of new Daqahliya Governor Sobhi Younis, a Brotherhood member, state news agency MENA reported.

Police evicted the demonstrators who later converged outside the building and chanted against the Islamist group and Governor Younis.

Protesters later threw petrol bombs at the building and fought with Muslim Brotherhood supporters, injuring two, MENA reported.

On Sunday, President Mohamed Morsi appointed seven Muslim Brotherhood members as new regional governors, triggering nationwide protests at what some describe as an "Islamist power grab."

Eleven of Egypt's 27 regional governors are now members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that propelled President Mohamed Morsi to power. Nine other governors have military or police backgrounds.

Late on Tuesday, 26 people were injured in Tanta, Gharbiya governorate during clashes between supporters and opponents of the new governor, a Brotherhood member.

The offices of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party in Gharbiya's Mahalla and Tanta were attacked by protesters. The Tanta office was set ablaze by protesters throwing Molotov cocktails.

In Mahalla, protesters also threw Molotov cocktails at the residence of Kafr El-Sheikh Governor Saad Al-Husseiny and set his car ablaze. Al-Husseiny is a leading Brotherhood member who was appointed governor last September.

In a Wednesday statement, Kafr El-Sheikh governorate office blamed the assault on "thugs affiliated to the Rebel campaign and remnants of the former regime."

Local residents who tried to extinguish the fire were assaulted, the statement added. Two police officers were also attacked and had their weapons stolen.

In Menoufiya protesters continued to besiege the governorate building in protest at the appointment of Brotherhood member Ahmed Shaarawi Mohamed as governor.

There have also been protests against new governors in Damietta, Beheira, Beni Suef and Luxor, among others.

The most controversial appointment was that of Luxor Governor Adel El-Khayat, a member of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya. His group played a role in the murder of at least 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians in the infamous 1997 Luxor massacre. Local residents and members of the tourism sector have protested his appointment.

Instead of offering concessions to the opposition by forming a national unity government, Morsi's ministerial reshuffle in May increased the number of Brotherhood and FJP-affiliated ministers to 11 out of 35.

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