News / Africa

    Anti-Morsi Protests Continue in Egypt

    Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 4, 2012.
    Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 4, 2012.
    Edward Yeranian
    Demonstrators in Egypt gathered Tuesday in a march on the presidential palace to protest against President Mohamed Morsi and an upcoming referendum on the constitution.  News outlets are also protesting what they consider as a clampdown on press freedoms.

    Leaders of the protest, including former presidential candidates Amr Moussa, Hamdeen Sebahi and Mohamed ElBaradei dubbed it a “final warning” to Morsi to withdraw the draft constitution.  The draft law was hastily approved Friday by a committee from which secular, leftist and Christian members had withdrawn.

    Moussa, who was leading one of three protest marches, said that pushing through the draft constitution, scheduled for a referendum on December 15, was “inflaming public opinion.” He said disagreements over the text need to be resolved first.

    Moussa said there remains major disagreements over the text of the constitution on various issues, and that members pulled out of the drafting committee because there had not been adequate discussion.

    • Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
    • A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chants slogans during clashes with opponents, not pictured, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
    • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters beat an opponent, center, during clashes outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
    • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters clash with opponents, not pictured, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
    • Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
    • An Egyptian protester with Arabic writing on his forehead that reads, "Muslims and Christians, one hand," attends a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
    • A young boy waves a national flag from his mother's shoulders as protesters chant slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
    • Anti-Morsi protesters run from smoke from a tear gas canister thrown by riot police, during clashes in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
    • Protesters chant slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
    • People walk between tents belonging to anti-Morsi protesters, in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
    • Protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
    • Protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
    • Riot police stand guard behind barbed wire while protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.

    Ahmad al-Zind, the head of Egypt's Judges Club, which represents judges across the country,  told a press conference Tuesday that the judiciary was “under fire” by the president's decision to ignore a judicial strike by the country's top courts. He accused the president of trying to “divide the judiciary.”

    In addition to the popular demonstrations, 11 Egyptian newspapers suspended publication on Tuesday to protest the new constitution and clauses they say restrict freedom of expression. Top papers ran a sidebar entitled “No to Dictatorship” in their editions Monday.

    Veteran Egyptian editor and publisher Hisham Kassem says that no matter what the result of the December 15 referendum, the constitution will ultimately be thrown out by the judiciary.

    "There's no way this constitution is going to go through. Even if [Morsi] manages to get it passed on the 15th through a referendum, it's null and void. It's a primitive piece of legislation," he said. "It's becoming clear from jurists comments that this is basically a constitution that will take us back 1000 years or so."

    Islamist writer and columnist Fahmy Howeidy, however, says that the crowds of protesters opposing the president and the new constitution are not representative of the Egyptian public.

    "If you read the situation now in Cairo through the newspapers... they do not reflect the real feeling in the society," Howeidy said. "For many reasons, now, the papers are reflecting some political fanatic groups, but not the real feeling in the whole society."

    Howeidy said that the majority of Egyptians support Morsi and the new constitution.

    Vice President Mahmoud Mekki said in a television interview Tuesday that 75 percent of Egyptians support the new constitution.

    Kassem says that only about 52 percent of Egyptians voted for Morsi in the June election, and that it was “unlikely that he has more support than that, and probable that he has considerably less [support].”

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    by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago
    December 05, 2012 9:31 AM




    The Egyptians have never lived under a democratic regime, and their views of democracy is confined to what each media outlet calls democracy, or what their priest or imam portray as democracy. Add to that the impulsive views coming by friends and peers into their cell-phones and iPods, and democracy becomes a polygon subject that doesn't fit the square thinking of anybody on the street! Even Aristotle has 5 styles of democracy - even though the differences among the 5 were in the functions, not on the basic concept! Add to the above the strong religious beliefs among the 85 millions Egyptians; add the clan traditions; add a history of colonialism and of wars with Israel; add external blueprints pushed by the former colonial powers in the re- designing of the new political landscape in Middle East - after the Arab Springs, and the political views in Egypt are as unsteady as the Sahara Desert winds! The Egyptians had better settle their views on their own, or their former colonial powers will settle for them. And if that happens, their chance for democracy might vanish unwittingly, and the former Mubarak regime might return with vengeance! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
    December 04, 2012 4:54 PM
    Its clear and obvious Morsi is a president of few and not all Egyptians,why is hasty push of the constitution shows he is going about it the Muslim Brother hood way and not the Egytian way,now he feels he has side lined the keepers of the law lets see what the Militry being the last hope of the keepers of the true Egyptian spirit,

    by: ali baba from: new york
    December 04, 2012 1:44 PM
    the trouble in Egypt has no end.Still ,moresy refused to understand. He refused to understand that people want a solution for ecnomic problem .people does not support his fantacy to establish an islamic state .people does not want muslim brotherhood.still he uses deception and liar to be in power

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