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Coup in Egypt: Judge sworn in as interim leader

CAIRO — Egypt swore in an interim leader Thursday after amilitary coup toppled the country’s first freely elected president, raising fresh uncertainty over the formation of a coalition government to ease deep political divisions and prevent economic collapse.

Judge Adly Mahmoud Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, took the oath of the presidency in a court chamber along the Nile. He replaced Mohamed Morsi, the nation’s first Islamist president, who was forced from office after refusing a military order to compromise with the opposition to end months of unrest.

The inauguration of a new leader was the latest political maneuver in a tumultuous 24 hours that were also marked by clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi supporters that left 10 dead across the country and the arrest of two prominent members of the deposed president’s Muslim Brotherhood party.

Celebrations in Cairo after Morsi oustedAfter his swearing in, Mansour said the youth-inspired protests that began Sunday and ended with Morsi’s overthrow “corrected the path of the glorious revolution that took place on Jan 25, 2011.”

He added the Egyptian people “are the source of all powers” and that the greatest thing that happened on June 30 is that it united the people without discrimination or differentiation.”

Little is known about Mansour, 67, an administrator and judge who is expected to be a transitional figure in the country’s tortuous path toward democracy that began with the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Mansour, sworn in in the same chamber where Morsi was inaugurated last year, heads the court that often battled the Brotherhood’s attempts to increase its hold on the government.

Morsi was reportedly under house arrest. But he and the Brotherhood remained defiant, insisting they were Egypt’s legitimate authority. The coup “drives Egypt backward,” Morsi said on his Facebook page.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

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