Egyptian rivals unite to confront the military
Secular groups back Muslim Brotherhood's call for millions to march against 'soft coup'
Wednesday 20 June 2012
An emboldened Muslim Brotherhood appeared to be on a collision course with Egypt's ruling generals last night, as it called on its millions of supporters to protest against this week's military power grab and the recent dissolution of the Islamist-led parliament.
The call, which followed the Brotherhood's disputed claims of victory in the final round of presidential elections, came as Egypt's unelected army rulers faced further pressure from Washington yesterday.
Responding to what commentators have called a "soft coup" – which saw the military carve up substantial new powers for itself via an executive decree – officials in the US said they would review more than £1bn in annual military subsidies unless there was a swift handover to civilian rule.
The comments reflect the manner in which Washington's alliance with Cairo, for years a keystone of America's Middle East diplomacy, has grown frosty over the past 18 months. The Obama administration, though nervous about the ascendancy of political Islam, has also grown wary of the authoritarian methods being deployed by Egypt's generals.
In a further development, campaign officials for Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister to serve under deposed President Hosni Mubarak, claimed yesterday that their man had won the presidential poll. Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood candidate, has also claimed victory. Official results are due to be released tomorrow.
Last night, further conflict loomed as plans for a "million man march" in Cairo's Tahrir Square emerged. The demonstration was called by the Muslim Brotherhood but was supported by secular revolutionary groups such as the 6 April youth movement, which played a major role in last year's uprisings. The move appears to show how the political sands are shifting again.
Liberal political factions have previously accused the Brotherhood of stitching up a closed-door deal with the military in exchange for political gains, and many still subscribe to this view.
But Tamir Fouad, a spokesman for 6 April, said he believed that the Brotherhood is now under no illusions about the military's alleged intentions.
"They think we were right about our campaign against the military council," said Mr Fouad. "I think now they believe in the revolution."
"The confrontation between the military and Muslim Brotherhood is going to intensify," said Hani Shukrallah, managing editor of Ahram Online. "The military is now in conflict with them on almost every single issue."
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...