US Describes Morsi’s Presidency as Undemocratic

Two US Navy ships that were patrolling in the Middle East moved closer to Egypt’s Red Sea coast. The USS San Antonio and USS Kearsage were moved in order to “protect or evacuate U.S. citizens or take part in humanitarian assistance.”

The Egyptian government praised the US government in showing “understanding” by describing Morsi’s presidency as undemocratic. Part of US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s earlier comments mentioned that the popular uprising reflects how “democracy is not just about simply winning the vote at the ballot box.” In other comments, Psaki stated that the recent rise in politically motivated arrests would not help the Egyptian government move forward and could prove to be detrimental to the transitional process. In addition, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a return to “a path of democratic transition” in Egypt and urged the inclusion of all political actors in this process.

UN Security General Ban Ki-Moon reiterated the need for peaceful talks to end the crisis and criticized the “continued detentions in Egypt and arrest warrants issued against Muslim Brotherhood leaders and others.”

The IMF announced that it was not currently in discussions about a loan to Egypt with the interim government and that it would base future discussions on the reaction of the international community. Prior to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi from power, the IMF was considering a $4.8 billion loan to the Egyptian government. Though the IMF “typically does not engage with governments that have not been recognized by the international community,” it indicated that it would be in continuing contact with Egyptian bureaucrats “on the technical level.”

In an interview with Al-Ahram, interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi stated that he was consulting with potential candidates for cabinet positions. He was also considering the merger of certain ministries and the possible abolition of the information ministry, the latter amid calls from the media for an independent and free press. Prime Minister Beblawi also stated that he would consider qualified members of the Freedom and Justice Party for positions in his cabinet, though Muslim Brotherhood leaders rejected any offers to join the “bloody military coup.”

The Strong Egypt Party announced its rejection of the constitutional declaration issued yesterday by interim President Adly Mansour. Among other factors, the Party based its decision on the fact that the declaration “gave the interim President executive, legislative, and constitutional powers” as well as the power to appoint members of the committee to amend the constitution. Other political actors, such as the National Salvation Front, the Tamarod campaign, and the April 6 Youth Movement have joined in criticizing the constitutional decree. The Tamarod campaign announced that it had held talks with Mansour, who agreed to amend constitutional declaration “soon.”

The National Salvation Front, the largest coalition of liberal groups, urged the inclusion of “credible revolutionary figures” from the January 25 Revolution in the interim government and criticized the Nour Party’s effective veto of both Mohamed ElBaradei and Ziad Bahaa Eddin (of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party) for the position of interim Prime Minister. The Front also asked for changes to the constitutional declaration, called for an independent investigation into the violence of July 8, and criticized the closure of Islamist media outlets.

A group called No Military Trials for Civilians announced that more than 1,100 civilians are being detained for military trials. The group opposes Article 19 of the constitutional declaration because it does not protect civilians from being tried in military courts. The group called for a constitutional ban on trying civilians in the military judicial system, a proposal that was considered for the November 2012 constitution before being dropped.

Freedom and Justice Party Executive Board member Mohamed El-Beltagy criticized the media for associating the Muslim Brotherhood with violence in Sinai and claimed that the media was being “run by intelligence agencies.”

A judge ordered two Muslim Brotherhood members who stood accused of attacking Hamada Badr and two other teenagers in Alexandria on July 5 to be detained for 15 days.

Finally, the body of a Coptic man, 59-year-old Magdy Lamay Habib, was found in a graveyard in Sheikh Zuweid today. Habib had been kidnapped by “extremist groups,” according to a security official who spoke to Agence France-Presse. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of 1 million EGP from the victim’s family. This event followed a number of attacks on Coptic people since the events of July 3.