Friday, November 23, 2012

Egyptians Set Fire to President Morsi's Party Headquarters

Protesters set fire to Morsi party's headquarters in three cities

Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:15PM GMT

Furious Egyptians have set ablaze the headquarters of President Mohamed Morsi's party in three cities in protest to a constitutional declaration that gives the president unlimited powers.

Offices of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, were torched on Friday in the canal cities of Suez, Ismailiya and Port Said, according to the Egyptian state television.

The FJP office in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria was also stormed, leading to the outbreak of clashes between protesters and Morsi's supporters.

Morsi issued a new declaration on Thursday, under which no judicial body can dissolve Egypt’s Constituent Assembly that is currently writing a new constitution.

The declaration allows the president to take "any decision or measure to protect the revolution." It also considers decisions and laws issued by the president as "final and not subject to appeal."

The move drew calls for nationwide protests from opposition forces who branded the declaration as "a coup against legitimacy" and "a major blow on the revolution that could have dire consequences."

Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace prize laureate and the former director general of International Atomic Energy Agency, said Morsi had “usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh."

Morsi defends new constitutional declaration

Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:58PM GMT

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has vowed to follow through with his new constitutional declaration, saying Egypt is on the path to "freedom and democracy."

"I am for all Egyptians. I will not be biased against any son of Egypt," Morsi told a rally of supporters outside Cairo’s Presidential Palace on Friday. The president also envisioned a bright future for the post-revolution nation.

On Thursday, Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration to expand his powers. The decree opens the way for retrials of officials involved in the clampdown on popular protests that toppled long-standing dictator Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. It also bars courts from challenging Morsi’s decisions.

The move drew fire from the Egyptian opposition who branded it as dictatorial and accused Morsi of trying to put himself above the law.

Morsi’s opposition staged a rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square to denounce the president’s move. Also, over two dozen were injured in clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents in Suez, Alexandria, Ismailiya and Port Said.

Morsi, however, insisted that his decision is aimed at promoting the country’s political, social and economic stability, and pledged to stand alongside the Egyptians.

The Egyptian president also called for a real and strong opposition but warned that those who try to harm the nation will be held accountable.

“No one has the right to call for chaos,” he emphasized, pledging to reveal the corrupt remnants of Egypt’s former regime.

He said all authorities must be subject to the constitution and vowed to bring to justice the criminals involved in the killing of protesters in the country’s 2011 popular uprising against the Mubarak regime.

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