News / Africa

Protests Rage Against Egyptian Presidential Decree

Anti-Morsi protesters run for cover during clashes with riot police at Tahrir Square in Cairo, November 27, 2012.
Anti-Morsi protesters run for cover during clashes with riot police at Tahrir Square in Cairo, November 27, 2012.
Thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square are rallying against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, hours after the president told the nation's top judges that elements of his new decree granting himself more powers and authority must stand.

Morsi's promise to enforce the constitutional declaration only in certain cases has done little to lessen the anger of those who see him as a dictator in the making.

Protesters chanted for his downfall Tuesday and that of the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide. Many here feel it is the Brotherhood that pushed Morsi to expand his powers, despite his formal break with the organization that helped him win the presidency.

Opponents said that words aside, the president has not changed the decrees themselves, which put his decisions above judicial review on a temporary basis.

Soundslides:  On the scene in Cairo


Amr Said, a protester on the square, said that the declaration is even more authoritarian than the dreaded emergency laws of the previous government.

Said said the emergency laws governed the security forces, while the constitutional declaration affects the judicial and legislative branches, as well. He added, "We didn't have a revolution to oust one dictator, only to bring in another."

Protesters came from across the country to take part in the demonstration in Tahrir Square, the heart of the uprising that toppled the old government.

Egyptians carry a protester wounded in clashes with security forces near Tahrir square, where an opposition rally has been called for to voice rejection of President Morsi's seizure of near absolute powers in Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.Egyptians carry a protester wounded in clashes with security forces near Tahrir square, where an opposition rally has been called for to voice rejection of President Morsi's seizure of near absolute powers in Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.
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Egyptians carry a protester wounded in clashes with security forces near Tahrir square, where an opposition rally has been called for to voice rejection of President Morsi's seizure of near absolute powers in Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.
Egyptians carry a protester wounded in clashes with security forces near Tahrir square, where an opposition rally has been called for to voice rejection of President Morsi's seizure of near absolute powers in Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.
Ahmed Abdelazziz, a medic from Alexandria, said Morsi must listen to the will of the people.

With the judiciary's role uncertain, legal challenges to the decree will be heard in early December. It is unclear, though, if Morsi will abide by any court ruling, and protesters argue their demonstrations are the only check on his power.

Concerns grow

Tensions grew in the square as more people arrived throughout the day with skirmishes between police and protesters along side streets.

Across the capital, however, fears abated after the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups called off a planned counter-demonstration that had many fearing further clashes.

That decision, and Morsi's promises to the judiciary on Monday, have left some people convinced he is only trying to move the country forward, as he promises, by ushering in a new constitution and parliament, free from interference from further judicial challenges.

On the outskirts of the square, accountant Yahya Abdelmutaleb had a benign view of the president's actions.

"Actually he makes this law only for two months, until we have a new parliament - only limited time," he said. "But some people couldn't understand. They thought he will make it forever, or for four years."

VOA's Mark Snowiss contributed to this report from Washington.

  • Protesters chant anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2012.
  • Protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2012.
  • Merchants sell bread to protesters, some of whom have camped out in tents since last week, as opposition groups plan to gather for a rally in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2012.
  • Youths climb a wall that was built by police to prevent clashes between protesters and police at Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 29, 2012.
  • Youths walk next to a pirate flag on display by a street vendor in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 29, 2012.
  • Riot police and protesters throw stones at one another during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • Protesters run during clashes with police near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • A protester carries stones to throw at the police during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • A protester reads the Wafd, a local newspaper next to tents occupied by protesters in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • A shot of Tahrir Square in Cairo as night falls, November 27, 2012. (J. Weeks/VOA)
  • Egyptian security forces arrest a protester during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester blows a stadium horn as he gestures at a cordon of security forces near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.
  • A protester throws stones at riot police during clashes at Tahrir Square in Cairo November 26, 2012.
  • Egyptians attend the funeral of youth activist Gaber Salah, also known as Gika, at the Omar Makram mosque in Cairo, November 26, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester runs during clashes with security forces near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, November 25, 2012.

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Comments
     
by: Marie from: Montreal
November 29, 2012 11:44 AM
First let me say that i am hearing that non-muslims continue to be denied jobs on the basis of their religion in Egypt. My parents left that country over 45 years ago because iof this very issue. So Egypt has not changed and just getting worse... Where is the equality for all Egyptians, why not let religion be a personal matter. They are all egyptians first!!!!

I think morsi is a puppet and should be outted the quicker the better.... We need equality of rights for all, not religious nuts leading a country into a hole. Egypt's main revenue is tourism that is grinding to a hault because of the unrest, making it impossible for the country to turn the page and go forward.

by: ali baba from: new york
November 27, 2012 7:31 PM
imoersy is hungry of power. moresy might design a gas chamber for his opponent..his vicious personality ,make me believe that he is worest than hitler

by: Ghada from: Egypt
November 27, 2012 4:09 PM
Morsi must leave...Morsi = Mubarak..and maybe worse than mubarak..muslim brotherhood and salafists are the biggest enmies of islam and Egypt

by: Ingy Sammakia from: Toronto, Canada
November 27, 2012 11:51 AM
The Brotherhood are not to be trusted! There's nothing called "This will be two months only" They are self serving people and look after their own and not after the secular Egyptians. Morsi is not going to last! No amount of power or army will protect him. The people will rule in the end and he will be booted!
In Response

by: jethc cruz from: philippines
November 27, 2012 8:39 PM
Most political leaders such as Morsi have'nt learned from history.Todays leaders must realized that people today are much aware that granting so much political power to govt have a tendency to abuse it and that is the reason the egyptians are on the streets again.
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
November 27, 2012 7:25 PM
i agree.they can not be trusted.

by: Michael from: USA
November 27, 2012 9:11 AM
In the West we ought to use this situation in Egypt to distinguish a political power-grab from a sorely needed authority, that is if the social contract is valuable to our future and theirs

by: hane from: dakar
November 27, 2012 6:55 AM
i think that the peace haven't price, and all egyptian have to work together for consolidate peace in their country, and Morsi must to leave justice do their job.

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