Egypt: Morsi's new governors increase tensions w.opposition

Seven from Brotherhood, one ex Gamaa Islamiya appointed

17 June, 17:27

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, JUNE 17 - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday appointed 17 new provincial governors, including seven members of his Muslim Brotherhood.

    He also appointed Adel Assad el-Khayat, a member of the political arm of ex-Islamic militant group Gamaa Islamiya, which fought an insurgency war against deposed president Hosni Mubarak. In 1997, Gamaa Islamiya claimed responsibility for what became known as the Luxor massacre: in the ancient southern city of Luxor, a main tourist site, 58 tourists and four Egyptians were killed. Tourist companies have called a strike tomorrow to protest the appointment of el-Khayat, who has been arrested several times for his political leanings, according to tourist guide union leader Wael Ibrahim. Another six army generals and police officers have been appointed to areas of unrest such as Port Said and Ismailia, where violent clashes took place at the beginning of the year. The seven Brotherhood appointments are ''a challenge to the people'' and a sign Morsi is stepping up confrontation ahead of the one-year anniversary of his presidency on June 30, according to opposition front spokesperson Khaled Daoud. ''Instead of sending signals of detente, the Brotherhood adds fuel to the fire. The proof is that protests have already erupted in several governorates'', Daoud told ANSAmed. The liberal and secular Egyptian opposition has called for mass demonstrations against the country's first Brotherhood president on June 30. The opposition Tamarod (''rebel'' in Arabic) campaign has gathered 15 million signatures demanding early presidential elections, or 1.8 million more than the votes Morsi received. The Egyptian president would gain 30% of the vote if elections were held today, while another 50% of respondents said they would not reconfirm him in office, according to a survey by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research. (ANSAmed).

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