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Brotherhood rejects Egypt poll plan

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Senior officials in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood have rejected a timetable for new elections laid out by interim president Adly Mansour. Leading Brotherhood figure Essam al-Erian says the plan for constitutional changes and a vote next year "brings the country back to square one". President Mohammed Morsi was ousted by the army last week after mass protests. The decree came hours after at least 51 people were killed at a Cairo barracks where his supporters say he is in held. The Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt's main Islamist movement, which Mr Morsi belongs to - says its members were fired on at a sit-in for the ousted leader. The army says it responded to an armed provocation. 'Invalid' Mr Mansour's decree was issued late on Monday. It envisages a panel to amend the Islamist-drafted constitution - which was suspended last week - would be formed within 15 days. The changes would then be put to a referendum - to be organised within four months - which would pave the way for parliamentary elections, possibly in early 2014. Continue reading the main story Adly Mansour's transition timeline Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour in Cairo (4 July 2013) Panel formed within 15 days to review constitution Constitutional amendments to be finalised and put to referendum in four months Parliamentary elections to be held by early 2014 Presidential elections to be called once new parliament convenes Once the new parliament convenes, elections would be called to appoint a new president. The Brotherhood has denounced the ousting of Mr Morsi - Egypt's first freely elected leader - as a coup, and says he should be reinstated. Mr Erian, deputy chairman of the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) said Mr Mansour's declaration was "a constitutional decree by a man appointed by putchists" which "brings the country back to square one". Ahmad Abu-Barakah, legal advisor to the FJP, said the decree was "invalid and illegitimate", the private Al-Misri al-Yawm news site reports. The Brotherhood's spokesman Gehad el-Haddad told AFP news agency that further protests and sit-ins would be held across the country on Tuesday, as funerals are held for supporters killed in Monday's violence in Cairo. The movement has described what happened outside the Presidential Guard barracks on Monday as a "massacre", and has called for "an uprising by the great people of Egypt against those trying to steal their revolution with tanks". It says the army raided a peaceful sit-in as protesters were performing dawn prayers, and that 53 people were killed. The health ministry said at least 51 people were killed and 435 people wounded. Spokesman for the Egyptian ministry: "There was a treacherous attack" But army spokesman Col Ahmed Mohammed Ali said troops responded after a group armed with live ammunition, petrol bombs and stones had attacked them. He said that two police and one soldier were killed in the exchange of fire. Eight soldiers were critically wounded. Col Ali also disputed claims that children had died, saying pictures of dead children posted on the internet were in fact images taken in Syria in March. Appeal for calm Mr Morsi is believed by the Brotherhood to be held at the barracks, but the military says he is elsewhere. In response to the killings the grand sheikh of al-Azhar University, Ahmed al-Tayeb - seen as the highest authority in Sunni Islam - warned of civil war and said he was going into seclusion until the violence was over. The hardline Salafist Nour party - which had supported Mr Morsi's removal - said it was withdrawing from talks to choose an interim prime minister, describing the shooting incident as a "massacre". The killings follow an incident in the same location on Friday in which three people died and dozens were wounded as troops fired on crowds. Mr Mansour has appealed for calm, and has ordered an investigation into the incident. But the BBC's Jim Muir in Cairo says situation on the streets of Egypt will have to improve radically if Mr Mansour's timetable for elections is not to prove hopelessly unrealistic,

09.07.2013. 12:22:49