Photo: EPA
Adli Mansour sworn in
Photo: EPA

Egypt's parliament dissolved, new intelligence minister appointed

Interim President Mansour dissolves Islamist-controlled higher house, appoints Ahmed Farid in charge of security coordination with Israel

The interim Egyptian head of state who was appointed after the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi dissolved parliament's upper house by decree on Friday, state television said.


Since last year's elections, the upper house has been under the near total control of the pro-Morsi Islamist movements. In addition, Morsi appointed Ahmed Farid as head of intelligence, replacing Morsi's man, Mohamed Raafat Shehata.


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The new appointment is of significance to Israel, since the Egyptian intelligence minister is usually in charge of security coordination with Israel. During the Mubarak regime, the holder of the position was Omar Suleiman, who had close contact with Israeli senior officials.


חוגגים את הדחת מורסי השבוע (צילום: גטי אימג'בנק)

Celebrating the ouster (Photo: Gettyimages)


Suleiman was also the one who announced former President Hosni Mubarak's resignation during the revolution in February 2011, and he died last year in the US, while undergoing surgery.


The position became even more important after the revolution, as contact between the Israeli and Egyptian political echelons became virtually non-existent.


גם תומכיו של הנשיא המודח יצאו להשמיע את קולם (צילום: רויטרס)

Pro-Morsi demonstrators (Photo: Reuters)


Raafat Shehata, who was appointed to the role of intelligence minister only a year ago by Morsi, has been transferred to act as interim President Mansour's national security advisor.


Shehata was the deputy head of general intelligence during the Gilad Shalit deal which freed the Israeli soldier from his Gaza captivity, and was seen then next to Shalit in the first pictures shown by Egyptian television, together with Hamas' military arm's chief, Ahmed al-Jabri, who was killed on the outset of operation Pillar of Defense last year.


לפני הבחירות לפרלמנט אשתקד. כעת הוא מפוזר (צילום: AFP)

Before last year's parliament elections (Photo: AFP)


Shehata was appointed as intelligence minister after Morsi shocked the defense echelon by deposing Morad Mawafi, Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Sami Annan.


Over the last year, Shehata kept in contact with Israel and even met in person with Israeli security officials in Cairo.


The dissolved higher house of parliament, the Shura Council, is in principle a toothless body which does not have legislative authority. However, under the deposed President Morsi the Shura Council

appropriated legislative powers after the Islamic majority controlled lower house was dissolved by the court in the course of the power struggles between Egypt's judiciary and Morsi's regime.


As such, the high house of parliament acted as an important backer to Morsi.


According to the Egyptian media, Mansour's interim government will be sworn in on Sunday. In his statement announcing Morsi's ouster on Wednesday, Chief of Staff Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the interim government will be compsed of technocrats – specialists, not political figures.


Adli himself was appointed as interim head of state due to his position as president of the Constitutional Court. A short while after al-Sisi's statement, the Egyptian army's spokesperson stated that it is up to the interim government to decide when the new elections for the presidency and the parliament will be held, though according to some estimations that will be in a few months.


Meanwhile, Cairo saw the first bloodshed since Wednesday's dramatic ouster. Tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters amassed near a mosque in the Egyptian capital to demonstrate against the revolution, and several hundreds of the movement's supporters attempted to break into the army barracks where Morsi is detained.


According to report, the army fired into the crowd, killing at least three persons. Clashes were seen in other cities as well, among them Alexandria, Luxor, el-Arish, Suez and Giza.


In addition to the Cairo casualties, as of Friday evening five more been reported killed from across Egypt.



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פרסום ראשון: 07.05.13, 19:53
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