President Mohamed Morsy alone is responsible for the events of the past two weeks and must rescind his constitutional decree before dialogue with the opposition can start.
That was the general message of the press conference Constitution Party Chairman Mohamed ElBaradei called for Wednesday night. The conference was attended by most political leaders in the National Front for the Rescue of the Revolution.
“This constitution is illegitimate and it came from an illegitimate Constituent Assembly. If President Morsy continues to ignore our demands the country will be dragged into violence and worse,” said ElBaradei.
The Nobel laureate added that Morsy’s regime was quickly losing legitimacy and becoming like that of his predecessor Hosni Mubarak’s, which would leave the opposition no choice but to call for a general strike and even call for the regime’s removal.
ElBaradei also said Morsy had not spoken so far and demanded he speak to the nation that night. Former Arab League Secretary General and former presidential candidate Amr Moussa next took to the microphone. He spoke of the opposition’s unity only to be interrupted with the news of a death due to the clashes taking place outside the presidential palace. That number would reach at least five by the end of the night.
Moussa spoke again of unity only to be interrupted by a man shouting “feloul,” which means remnant of the previous regime, at him. Moussa was one-time Mubarak foreign minister for 10 years.
The man’s constant shouting prompted ElBaradei to take the microphone away from Moussa and hand it over to third placed presidential runner up Hamdeen Sabahy. “We will not accept the constitutional decree and will not allow a referendum on an unrepresentative constitution to take place,” said Sabahy.
As the audience member continued to shout at Moussa, Sabahy stressed the importance of unity. “This front represents all sides and has one coordinator; Mohamed ElBaradei,” he said.
As the news of a second death broke, ElBaradei called on Morsy to order an end to the violence.
“We did not initially call for the fall of the regime, but we are now being driven to that,” he said as the press conference was ended early due to the news of deaths.