Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour announced on Sunday modifications to the so-called roadmap imposed on the country in the wake of the coup which ousted democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in July last year.
“I have decided to modify the roadmap,” said Mansour. “We are to start with the presidential elections before the parliamentarians’… I am going to ask the high elections committee to start receiving nominations for the presidency based on the election law.”
The move was seen by experts as a measure that favours current Defence Minister and de facto head of the government, Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, who led the military coup.
Meanwhile, around 60 people have been killed by security forces in the pro-democracy demonstrations held on the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution at the weekend. Thirty-two of those killed were students. More than 300 people were wounded, claimed activists.
The Egyptian ministry of health put the number of deaths at 49 on Sunday with 250 wounded around the country. Medical sources and victims’ families said that the protesters were hit by live fire in the head and chest. According to the interior ministry, it arrested 1,078 “terrorists” on Sunday.
In another development, an extremist group calling itself “Jerusalem Supporters” claimed responsibility for an attack on an army bus in Sinai which killed four officers and wounded 13 others. The Egyptian government pledged to take revenge for the killing of its officers, insisting that the blood of Egyptians “will not go in vain”. According to Interim Prime Minister Hazem Al-Biblawi, “Terrorists will have their comeuppance for committing these faithless acts.”
A wide-scale campaign against army and police officers has resulted in the deaths of around 50 since the military coup last year. Explosions have rocked Cairo recently, killing policemen and bystanders alike. The current government always pledges to take revenge and put the perpetrators on trial but, to-date, nothing has been done. Some commentators have suggested that this proves that the government is orchestrating the bombings and killings in so-called “false flag” operations to discredit the opposition, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood.