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Friday, November 23, 2012

Egypt’s massive protests against the latest Morsy’s Constitutional Declaration

Thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square
to protests against the attempts to monopolize the state's power
by Morsy and Islamists

After yesterday’s surprising and worrying move of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy who issued a new Constitutional Declaration which significantly expands the President’s powers making them actually almost unlimited, numerous oppositional, secularist and liberal political parties, powers and human rights organizations called for the million-man march in Tahrir on Friday, 12 November.

We would remind here, that according to the recently issued Constitutional Declaration Mohamed Morsy receives almost unlimited powers, as all the laws and decrees isuued by him since he was sworn in are final and couldn’t be appealed by any person or organization and state’s body. Even Egypt’s High Constitutional Court has no authority over the President, so the head of state has actually put himself literally above the law.

In addition to that the new Constitutional Declaration gives the immunity to Egypt’s Shura Council (Upper House of Parliament) and also to the Constituent Assembly preventing any possibility of its dissolution by the court’s verdict (as it was with the first Constituent Assembly). The term of working for the Constituent Assembly was also expanded and is now eight month since the date of the body’s foundation. Mr. Morsy’s official spokesperson announced yesterday such a decision is very constructive under the current circumstances and aims to give the Assembly the chance to unite, find the common solution and continue its work in writing the draft of Egypt’s new Constitution.

Egypt's Friday massive protests against Morsy's decree
This controversial move made by Egypt’s President divided the political spectrum of Egypt and its society as well, as the supporters of President and of Islamist forces support the decree, while the opposition and liberal forces totally oppose it as an attempt to usurp and totally control the power in the state.

The major political powers and parties and also prominent political figures issued yesterday a common statement calling for the massive demonstrations against this decision.
Meanwhile the clashes between the protesters commemorating the victims of last year’s Mohamed Mahmoud clashes still continue in Cairo leaving dozens of injured and one person was reportedly killed. Friday protest today is dedicated to the commemorating of the victims of police and regime’s brutality, but the main issue of the demonstrations was the protest against the Constitutional Declaration.

The protests started after Friday noon prayers and have been headed to Cairo’s Tahrir Square from several districts. Thousands of people have gathered in the Square to protests against the attempts of the ruling powers to monopolize all the spheres of the state’s authorities. The people were chanting against Morsy’s Constitutional Declaration and against his rule, demanding him to go. “Down with the Morsy’s ruling!”, “Down with the Muslim Brotherhood’s power!” and the chants like that could be heard during the ongoing protests.

Prominent Egyptian political figures, such as Mohamed El Baradei, Amr Moussa, Hamdeen Sabbahy and others also headed to Tahrir Square. It’s worth mentioning here also that they have announced the 7-days sit-in in Tahrir.

The banner showing Egypt's President Mohamed Morsy as a
new Pharaoh
Two of Morsy’s advisers have resigned due to the Constitutional Declaration and the protests.

The protests are held nationwide, in all the cities of Egypt. There were also the reports that the offices and headquarters of Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing Freedom and Justice Party have been attacked in several Egyptian cities.

The international community is also deeply concerned and disappointed with this unprecedented move of Egypt’s President as it considers being a real threat to democracy and revolutionary goals in Egypt. US have strongly condemned this move and called for the political forces of Egypt to start the negotiations in order to resolve the crisis. UN’s representatives have also made the statements condemning Morsy’s Constitutional Declaration which actually creates the new dictatorship in Egypt. According to the UN official statement the organization decided to suspend its financial support of Egyptian government until the crisis will be resolved.

The massive protests turned into clashes with the Security Forces and police leaving dozens of injured people. Protesters and security forces are throwing the stones at each other, there were the sounds of the shots, probably bird shots, and the tear gas is also used to disperse the crowds. Several neighboring streets and entrances to the square and the bridges were also blocked by the security forces. Several buildings in Mohamed Mahmoud Street have been reportedly set ablaze, some police vehicles and trucks carrying the policemen were also set on fire.

Egypt's Security Forces trying to disperse the crowds of
the proteters
Meanwhile the demonstration of Muslim Brotherhood’s and Mohamed Morsy’s supports was held in front of the Presidential palace, where Egyptian President gave his speech addressed to the people.

The situation in Egypt remains tense and critical until now, with the ongoing massive protests nationwide. According to some analysts this controversial move of Egypt’s President could help to mobilize and unite the oppositional, liberal forces. In addition to that there were reports that Egypt’s High Constitutional Court could impeach the current President.

Anyway the situation is very controversial and difficult now, and we can only hope that it will not turn into more violent scenario, but, the opposite, will be the decisive moment in the revolutionary battle for the democratic society in Egypt.