Egyptian opposition groups are calling for mass protests amid mounting anger at President Mohamed Morsi’s surprise decision to give himself, and the Islamist-dominated assembly writing Egypt’s new constitution, extraordinary new powers.
Though the opposition has called for a “million man march”, recent street demonstrations on the streets of Cairo have been small in comparison with the protests that swamped the city during its revolution last year.
“This is a coup against legitimacy. We call on all Egyptians to protest in all of Egypt’s squares on Friday,” Sameh Ashour, head of the Egyptian Lawyers syndicate told a news conference called with two of Morsi’s prominent political opponents, Amr Moussa and Mohamed ElBaradei.
Morsi, who was feted on the international stage for his key role in bringing to an end the violence in Gaza, issued the decree on Thursday, which ordered the retrial of ex-president Mubarak and officials and security force members accused of killing protesters.
Though the ending of impunity for those who had committed crimes during the ousting of Mubarak would be widely popular, opposition groups described other new measures a as a power grab.
Morsi promises democracy
President Morsi on Friday insisted Egypt was on the path to “freedom and democracy” as protesters held rival rallies over sweeping powers he assumed that further polarised the country’s political forces. “Political stability, social stability and economic stability are what I want and that is what I am working for,” he told an Islamist rally.
“I have always been, and still am, and will always be, God willing, with with clear legitimacy,” Morsi told his supporters who gathered near the presidential palace.
Guardian News Service