Photo by Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images.
Egypt's new Islamist president will appoint female and Christian vice presidents to serve in his administration, his policy adviser announced Monday, a move that appears designed to allay concerns that his government will be unfriendly to women and minorities.
"For the first time in Egyptian history—not just modern but in all Egyptian history—a woman will take that position," Ahmed Deif, an adviser to President Mohamed Morsi, told CNN, referring to the yet-to-be-named female vice president. "And it's not just a vice president who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is powerful and empowered, and will be taking care of critical advising within the presidential Cabinet."
The news represents a reversal for Morsi, who had previously called for banning women from Egypt's presidency. The promise of a vice president who is Christian is also noteworthy given the fact that many minorities in Egypt fear that Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party will mean close ties between the government and Islam.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian court has ruled that military police can't arrest civilians, CBS News reports. That decision is a blow to the country's military leaders, who have increased their control in the country as the July 1 deadline to hand over power to a civilian government approaches.
Military leaders issued a series of constitutional amendments that weakened many of the president's powers earlier this month, as the country waited for the election results that handed the presidency to the Muslim Brotherhood. The military had dissolved the country's Islamist-dominated lower house of parliament, clearing the way for it to take control of the country's constitutional rewriting process.