Feuding erupted within Egypt’s new leadership on Sunday as secular and liberal factions wrangled with ultraconservative Islamists who rejected their choice for prime minister, stalling the formation of a new government following the military’s ousting of President Mohammed Morsi.
The wrestling over the prime-ministerial spot underlined the divisions with the collection of factions which backed the military’s move.
At centre stage of the feuding is the ultraconservative Salafi Al-Nour Party, the sole main Islamist faction that sided with the mainly secular groups that led the charge against Morsi. On Saturday, the party blocked the appointment of reform leader Mohammed el-Baradei – a favourite of liberal, leftist and secular groups – as Prime Minister.
Another member of the coalition, Tamarod, the main organisation behind the massive protests last week calling for Morsi to be ousted, said el-Baradei was still its candidate for the post. It railed against Al-Nour yesterday, accusing it of “blackmail” and “arm-twisting”.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of both pro- and anti-Morsi protesters took to the street last night.