CAIRO – Egypt's new president, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi asked the prime minister to form a new Cabinet on Monday, moving ahead with the transition as a court sentenced more than 100 supporters of the ousted Islamist president to a year in prison in the country's latest mass trial.
The interim prime minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, submitted his and his government's resignation, a ceremonial step after the inauguration of a new president. State TV said el-Sissi asked him to return to the post and form a new government.
Mahlab has served as interim premier for the past five months, the second person to fill the post since el-Sissi ousted Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, last summer following massive protests against the Islamist leader and his Muslim Brotherhood.
In his speech after his swearing-in on Sunday, el-Sissi vowed to build a more stable future after three turbulent years. He said there will be no tolerance to those who took up arms against the government and Egyptians -- a thinly veiled reference to Morsi's supporters. The government has branded the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, an accusation the group denies and says is intended to justify eliminating it as a political force.
Since Morsi's removal last July, his supporters have held near daily demonstrations, which have been met by a fierce crackdown by security forces that has killed hundreds and arrested thousands. Morsi and much of the top leadership of his Muslim Brotherhood have been jailed and are on a series of trials, mostly in connection to violence associated with the protests.
On Monday, a Cairo court sentenced 112 of his alleged supporters to one year in prison over charges of assaulting citizens during protests on Jan. 25, marking the third anniversary of the start of the 2011 uprising that deposed longtime autocratic president Hosni Mubarak.