• Egypt PM open to Brotherhood joining cabinet

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    CAIRO: Egypt’s prime minister said on Thursday that he does not rule out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in his cabinet if candidates are qualified, even as police cracked down on ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s Islamist group.

    Hazem al-Beblawi, who was appointed on Tuesday, said that he was still considering the makeup of his interim government after Morsi’s overthrow in a popular military coup last week.

    “I don’t look at political association . . . If someone is named from [the Brotherhood’s]Freedom and Justice Party, if he is qualified for the post” he may be considered, Beblawi said.

    “I’m taking two criteria for the next government. Efficiency and credibility,” he added.

    “So far I haven’t approached anyone,” Beblawi said, explaining he wanted to decide on the best candidates before asking them to join the government.

    Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already rejected an offer from Beblawi to join the new government, and called for a mass rally on Friday against what it called “a bloody military coup.”

    An anti-Morsi camp meanwhile, is reported to be planning a Cairo rally to mark the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan following weekly prayers on Friday.

    The rally planned in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, epicentre of the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak, raises the possibility of further violence following a week of bloodshed after Morsi’s July 3 ouster.

    In the bloodiest incident, clashes around an army building on Monday left 53 people dead, mostly Morsi partisans.

    Police were searching for the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, after a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the violence.

    Badie and other senior Brotherhood leaders are wanted on suspicion of inciting the clashes, judicial sources said.

    AFP

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