CAIRO, Nov 22, 2012 (AFP) -
CAIRO, Nov 22, 2012 (AFP) –
Egyptian opposition forces on Thursday denounced a declaration by President Mohamed Morsi granting him sweeping powers as a “coup” and called for nationwide protests.
“This is a coup against legitimacy… We are calling on all Egyptians to protest in all of Egypt’s squares on Friday,” said Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers syndicate, in a joint news conference with leading dissidents Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Mussa.
They accused Morsi of “monopolising all three branches of government” and of overseeing “the total execution of the independence of the judiciary.”
“Morsi, instead of acting like a president for all of Egypt, which is already polarised, has poured fuel on the fire” and is taking the country to “political hell,” Ashour said.
The constitutional declaration, read out earlier on Thursday on state television, states that the president “can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution.”
“The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal.”
Nobel laureate and former UN atomic energy agency chief ElBaradei said the move affected all forces in the country.
“We must work together to achieve our goals,” ElBaradei said.
The move is a blow to the pro-democracy movement that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year, and raises concerns that Islamists will be further ensconced in power.
Morsi, who hails from the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, is the first president to be elected since Mubarak stepped down. He is also the country’s first civilian head of state and the first Islamist to lead the Arab world’s most populous country.
The Brotherhood has long been the best organised political force in Egypt, and secular activists had expressed fears that it would exploit the turmoil of Mubarak’s overthrow to impose its will.