The Guardian reports: Mohamed Morsi’s first appointments as president-elect of Egypt will be a woman and a Coptic Christian, his spokesman has told the Guardian, as he moves to allay fears of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Sameh el-Essawy said that although the names of the two choices had not been finalised, they would be Morsi’s two vice-presidents.
When the appointments go through, they will constitute the first time in Egypt’s history that either a woman or a Coptic Christian has occupied such an elevated position in the executive branch.
The Muslim Brotherhood is at pains to calm fears of what an Islamist president might mean for Egypt and the region at large. Appointing both a woman and a Coptic Christian is an attempt at a show of unity, and a rule by consensus.
Meanwhile, defeated presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik – Mubarak’s last prime minister and Morsi’s rival in the runoff election – flew to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday morning with his two daughters. His camp denied that he had fled as investigations begin into allegations of corruption against him while minister of civil aviation. He was in Abu Dhabi for “tourism” purposes, they said. [Continue reading…]