CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, said yesterday that a plan for a return to civilian government after the army’s removal of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was on track despite “challenges” and that emergency law should be lifted soon.
His comments were broadcast just after thousands of Islamists took to the streets in towns and cities across Egypt last evening to denounce the new military-backed rulers and demand Mursi’s return – their second show of mass support in four days.
The interim government has launched a furious crackdown on Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood since toppling Egypt’s first freely elected president on July 3, following huge protests.
It has accused the group of terrorism, sent its top leaders to trial on charges of inciting violence or murder and killed hundreds of Islamists demanding his reinstatement, most of them when two Cairo protest vigils were smashed on Aug. 14.
Mansour said in an interview with state television that his decision to announce emergency law that day had not been easy, but “terrorism and the vicious war that was being waged by some of the extremists made it crucial.”
If a “gradual improvement in security” continued, the state of emergency should end as planned in mid-September, he said.