CAIRO -- The Muslim Brotherhood has rejected an offer to join Egypt’s transitional cabinet, as new interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced he would start work on forming an interim government once he meets liberal leaders.
Beblawi told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday that he accepted that it would be difficult to win the unanimous support of Egyptians for his new government.
“Of course we respect the public opinion and we try to comply with the expectation of the people, but there is always a time of choice, there is more than one alternative, you cannot satisfy all of the people,” he said. Meanwhile, Egypt’s main liberal coalition, the National Salvation Front, withdrew its earlier statement rejecting the transition plan for interim rule and issued a statement containing milder criticism, Reuters said.
Beblawi, a liberal economist and a former finance minister, was named the new prime minister on Tuesday.
Liberal opposition chief and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei was also named vice president and head of foreign relations.
The appointments were followed by an announcement that ministerial posts in the new government would be offered to members of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, and to the Al-Nour Party.
Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said that some of the opposition groups like Tamarrod said that they were not consulted, and that the plans for the interim government was a rushed political process done secretly.
The administration decisions come almost a week after the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi and chose chief justice Adly Mansour to head the Arab world’s most populous country.
ElBaradei was initially tipped to lead the cabinet but his nomination was rejected by the Nour party. The head of the party added that it was still studying ElBaradei’s appointment as vice president.
Beblawi now faces the daunting task of trying to reunite a deeply divided country and rescue its battered economy.
Shortly after the Islamist parties made their statements, Egypt’s army chief went on state media to say that the military will not accept political “manoeuvring”.
Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said that “the future of the nation is too important and sacred for maneuvers or hindrance, whatever the justifications”. The blueprint unveiled by Mansour is intended to replace the controversial Islamist-drafted constitution which he suspended following last week’s coup.