Global media is reporting on the violence which has broken out across Egypt in the wake of the assumption of sweeping powers by President Mohammed Morsi. According to a Daily Telegraph report:
Violence broke out in cities across Egypt yesterday (Friday) as demonstrators took to the streets and besieged Muslim Brotherhood offices in anger at authoritarian new powers seized by President Mohammed Morsi.Headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political front, the Freedom and Justice Party, were ransacked and burned in Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailiya. Protesters described Mr Morsi as ‘Egypt’s new pharaoh’ and said his declaration on Thursday night was a ‘constitutional coup’. In Cairo, the biggest demonstrations for months filled Tahrir Square, reviving the spirit and chants of last year’s revolution against the country’s former leader, ex-President Hosni Mubarak. ‘Out, out,’ the crowd chanted. The people want the downfall of the regime.’ Mr Morsi publicly defended his decision to make his decrees unchallengeable by law as necessary to complete Egypt’s transformation. He told a crowd of supporters gathered in front of the presidential palace that he was trying to stop a ‘minority’ trying to ‘block the revolution’. He also alleged that money stolen under the old regime was being used to fund new protests, including by ‘thugs’ – a politically loaded term suggesting that the pro-democracy protesters were the same as Mr Mubarak’s hired henchmen. ‘There are weevils eating away at the nation of Egypt,’ he told them, insisting that he by contrast, was trying to assure ‘political stability, social stability and economic stability’. ‘I have always been, and still am, and will always be, God willing, with the pulse of the people, what the people want, with clear legitimacy,’ he said. Mr Morsi, fresh from his success in negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Wednesday night, made the unexpected announcement of his new powers on Thursday. He sacked the prosecutor general, a ‘remnant’ of the Mubarak regime, blocked legal challenges to the committee drawing up a constitution, and said that any decrees he issued until a new parliament was elected were also beyond challenge. He claimed to be cutting through a legal gordian knot in which Egypt’s transition to democracy had become entangled, but in doing so he gave himself unprecedented powers. Yesterday, tens of thousands of people took to Tahrir Square, fewer than at the height of last year’s uprising against Mr Mubarak but nevertheless a rallying point for secular activists and politicians who feel that their toppling of the former dictator has been ‘hi-jacked’ by Islamists.”
Read the rest here.
A post from yesterday reported that Morsi had granted himself what are described as “sweeping new powers” that place him above any oversight.
The GMBDW cannot imagine the thought process behind Morsi’s decision to take such a step given that he was in the midst of enjoying unprecedented world acclaim for his perceived role in the Hamas/Israel truce.