Egyptian Protests Over Mohamed Morsi Decree Expected To Draw Thousands

by
staff
Schools will be closed and universities and many workplaces will wrap up early for protests over president's new powers

Mohamed Morsi

Schools will be closed and universities and many workplaces will wrap up early for protests over president's new powers

Egypt is braced for a wave of protests on Tuesday against the decree granting new powers to President Mohamed Morsi. Other demonstrations are planned by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists in support of the decree.

Most schools will be closed and universities and many workplaces will wrap up early in anticipation of the marches, which are expected to draw tens of thousands to the streets.

Morsi issued his decree last Thursday, granting himself sweeping powers and immunity from judicial challenges over any laws he may pass until a new parliament is elected and a constitution is in place.

He also granted immunity to the Brotherhood-dominated constituent assembly tasked with drafting the constitution. At the same time he removed the Mubarak-era general prosecutor and appointed a new one in his stead.

On Monday evening Morsi met representatives of the supreme judicial council in an attempt to end the impasse. Before the meeting, the justice minister, Ahmed Mekki, who is mediating between the presidency and the judiciary, said a resolution was "imminent".

Opposition to the decree has brought together disparate secular forces with pro-revolution movements across the political spectrum. Marches will set off from various starting points in Cairo and lead up to a mass demonstration in Tahrir Square.

The Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in support of Morsi's decree has been relocated from central Cairo to a location in front of Cairo University in Giza, in order to avoid potential clashes.

Violence erupted in the wake of the decree in some of Egypt's governorates, resulting in the death of a teenage member of the Brotherhood youth movement in Damanhour. Islam Massoud, 15, was buried in his home town after a funeral march that drew thousands of mourners.

Protests had begun before Morsi's declaration. Four days earlier demonstrators clashed with police near Tahrir Square on the one-year anniversary of clashes that resulted in 47 casualties. This year's fighting resulted in the death of another teenager, Gaber Salah, who was a member of the April 6 youth movement. His funeral procession through Tahrir also measured in the thousands.