Some political parties that participated in anti-Morsy demonstrations on Friday have called for a sit-in until President Mohamed Morsy reverses the decree that gave him unprecedented powers. The non-Islamist coalitions also called for more protests on Tuesday.
“Divine powers for the president of the republic, immune from any oversight or accountability, are historically unprecedented. The new powers make him a new pharaoh, as he possesses executive and legislative powers over the judiciary,” said a joint statement released by 14 groups.
The coalition condemned the vaguely-worded article, allowing the president to take “extraordinary measures” to “protect the revolution,” indicating this could allow the president to avoid reforming the Ministry of Interior and prevent its adequate oversight.
“The lack of clear vision for the transitional justice initiative…ignores any real cleansing or restructuring of the Ministry of Interior, which increases in its arrogance and criminality every day,” said the group.
The progressive and leftist groups also criticised the decree’s protection of the Constituent Assembly and the Shura Council.
The parties have staged a number of protests against the Constituent Assembly, which they claim is dominated by Muslim Brotherhood members and other Islamists and does not deliver on post-revolution social justice.
“[The Shura Council] was elected by only 17 per cent of Egyptians in a clear message from the public that the council is worthless and a burden on the state’s budget.”
The statement rejected the ascension of a “new pharaoh” or any government official above the law.
Tuesday marches will converge on Tahrir Square from Fath Mosque, Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandessin, and Dawaran Shubra in order to “topple the fascist and authoritarian declaration.”
The groups vowed to carry out their sit-in until the reversal of the constitutional decree.
“We reject any threats from the Ministry of Interior to intervene and break up the sit-in warning of a new massacre may put the country in a dark tunnel, and we hold the president to his full responsibility.”
The group has named their Tuesday demonstrations as “protection of the revolution.”
“We are facing a historic moment to either complete the revolution, or leave it a victim to a group dominated by narrow partisan interests over national interests.”
The parties and movements that signed the statement included the Popular Current, Al-Dostour Party, the Social Popular Alliance Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Dignity Party, 6 April Youth (democratic front), the Revolutionary Socialists, the Justice and Freedom Youth Movement, The Free Egyptian Movement, the Kefaya Movement, the Free Front for Peaceful Change, the National Front for Justice and Democracy, and the 6 April Movement.
Demonstrators clashed with police on Qasr Al-Eini Street, Mohamed Mahmoud, and surrounding areas on Friday during demonstrations in Tahrir Square. The sides exchanged rock-throwing and Molotov cocktails, while security forces fired tear gas. Although clashes were mostly limited to streets surrounding the square, some canisters reached Tahrir during Friday’s peaceful demonstrations. Field hospitals in the area began reporting cases of bird shot wounds going into Friday night.
In the evening some people gained control of a Central Security Force truck and proceeded to burn it.
The Ministry of Interior initially released a statement denying tear gas was being used on demonstrators in Downtown Cairo, but later backtracked saying it was being used to prevent attacks on important buildings in the area, including the Shura Council and the People’s Assembly. The ministry also said going into Friday it had arrested 210 “rioters” since clashes broke out on Monday, the one year anniversary of the fatal clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud.
State-owned MENA reported that a total of 56 were injured in clashes around Downtown Cairo, 22 of whom are still receiving treatment at hospitals. The remaining injured were reportedly released after doctors determined they were in stable condition.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Hani Mahmoud said his ministry did not and does not intend to restrict internet or telecommunications services in Tahrir Square or anywhere else in the country. His statement was in response to some reports that mobile phone connections in Tahrir Square had been slow or unresponsive throughout Friday’s demonstrations.