Reports: Morsi Planning to Replace Prime Minister with Brotherhood Hardliner
The official website of the Muslim Brotherhood reported on Monday that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is thinking of replacing Prime Minister Hisham Kandi with former presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater. The report on the Muslim Brotherhood website was later scrubbed.
Al-Shater was the Muslim Brotherhood-backed candidate for Egypt's presidency; the Brotherhood’s Executive Office of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) wanted him to run, but he was ruled ineligible by Egypt’s electoral commission, whereupon Morsi took his place. That substitution, which allowed U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to claim Morsi “was his own man” and committed to democracy, was only a fig leaf until the Muslim Brotherhood took control of Egypt completely.
Recently, reports surfaced of a video in which al-Shater gave a speech where he called for every aspect of Egyptian life to be Islamicized:
Everywhere, the Brothers are working to restore Islam in its all-encompassing conception to the lives of people. Thus the mission is clear: restoring Islam in its all-encompassing conception, subjugating people to God, instituting the religion of God, the Islamicization of life, empowering of God’s religion, establishing the renaissance of the ummah [worldwide Muslim nation] on the basis of Islam… Every aspect of life is to be Islamicized.
We call upon God Almighty to make this transformation the beginning of a new renaissance for the ummah and the shaking off of the state of backwardness from which it has suffered for decades. As Muslim Brothers, it is imperative that we, as well as the entirety of the ummah, God willing, take advantage of this revolution which took place in Egypt and continues in the countries surrounding us.
Last week there were reports that Morsi intended to replace all of his economic cabinet ministers and the Ministries of Antiquities, Health and Transport with Muslim Brotherhood members.
In July, Panetta said that Morsi "is the president of all the Egyptian people and he is truly committed to implementing democratic reforms," adding that Morsi and Egypt's defense minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, had a good relationship. Two weeks later, Morsi fired Tantawi.
Two days after Panetta praised Morsi for his democratic inclinations, Morsi broke his promise to appoint a Christian and a woman to vice president positions. Instead, he appointed Mahmoud Mekki, whom the Brotherhood had tried to recruit to run for president earlier in the year, as vice president.