Egypt's Islamists rally behind Morsi
In Egypt the local Islamist movements will hold three major rallies in support for the country's embattled President Mohammed Morsi.
The marches, slated for Tuesday, will coincide with similar rallies planned by the country’s liberal opposition.
The leaders of the National Salvation Front earlier rejected a revised constitutional declaration issued by President Mohammed Morsi on Saturday. They called on the country’s progressively-minded forces to take to the streets on Tuesday in protest against the planned referendum on a new constitution scheduled for December 15.
The reworded draft is a step back from the previous one which considerably expanded the president’s powers and provoked a major political crisis.
Egypt opposition calls mass protests rejecting referendum
Egypt's opposition on Sunday called for mass street protests on Tuesday rejecting a December 15 referendum on a new constitution largely drafted by President Mohamed Morsi's Islamist allies.
"We do not recognise the draft constitution because it does not represent the Egyptian people," the opposition National Salvation Front said in a statement read out at a news conference by spokesman Sameh Ashour.
"We reject the referendum which will certainly lead to more division and sedition," he said.
The statement also condemned "militias" from the Muslim Brotherhood backing Morsi and "terrorist gangs."
The protest call meant Egypt's weeks-long political crisis was to continue, despite Morsi on Saturday making a key concession to the opposition by rescinding a controversial November decree that had given him expanded powers free from judicial review.
Tuesday's demonstrations could lead to more violence if Morsi's supporters challenge them, as occurred on Wednesday when seven people were killed and hundreds injured in vicious clashes outside the presidential palace.
Egypt fighter jets fly low over Cairo amid political crisis
Egyptian F-16 fighter jets made low passes over the centre of Cairo on Sunday in a rare manoeuvre by the air force over the capital amid high political tension.
At the end of October, jets made similar passes as part of a surprise military exercise.
On Saturday, the army released a statement on political unrest that has killed seven people in the capital, urging supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to open talks to stop Egypt descending "into a dark tunnel with disastrous results".
Morsi’s dictatorship renunciation ‘insufficient’ - expert
Russian Middle East expert Dr Semen Bagdasarov believes President Mosri’s reversal of the decree that gave him sweeping powers is unlikely to dissuade his opponents from insisting that he must go, together with the Moslem Brotherhood that propelled him to power.
Speaking to The Voice of Russia Sunday, Dr Bagdasarov also called attention to the fact that while 60% of the Egyptians, mostly people of the underprivileged classes, support the Moslem Brotherhood, the country’s military is strictly secularist. This means that Egypt is in for prolonged trouble.
President of Egypt adopts new constitutional declaration
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has adopted a new constitutional declaration. This document replaces the recent one, which greatly expanded the powers of the head of state and provoked a deep political crisis in the country.
This decision was made by Morsi during a meeting with leaders of Egyptian political parties. However, a referendum on a new constitution will be held, as scheduled, on December 15th. Previously it has been reported that the date would be moved forward.
On November 22nd Morsi announced a constitutional declaration according to which the courts were deprived of oversight over the president and control over the ativities of the Upper House of Parliament and the Constitutional Committee, which developes the basic laws of the country.
The opposition called the declaration a coup, and the president himself: ''a new pharaoh" and demanded the abolition of the document.
Thousands of protestors took to the streets in outrage over Morsi's apparent attempt grabbing power.
Egypt's Morsi annuls controversial decree
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Saturday annulled a decree he issued last month expanding his powers, an official told a Cairo news conference.
A referendum on a draft constitution would however still go ahead as planned on December 15, the official, Islamist politician Selim al-Awa, said as he relayed the substance of a meeting between Morsi and political leaders.
The two issues - the decree and the referendum - were at the heart of anti-Morsi protests that have rocked Egypt in the past two weeks.
Morsi said to be preparing amendment to controversial declaration
The Egyptian president is planning an amendment to the decree that sparked violent protests nationwide, the country's PM told local television. He's ordered officials who met with opposition representatives on Saturday to prepare the text.
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has announced that Morsi agreed to modify the declaration, and is also considering postponing the controversial referendum on a new constitution due next weekend.-
According to Qandil, Morsi is looking for a way to legally postpone the referendum, which is scheduled for December 15, AFP reports.
In a statement to Al-Mihwar, an independent television channel, Qandil did not give exact details about the amendments Morsi is hoping will calm the nation.
In an effort to quell the violent protests that have shaken the country for two weeks, Morsi was scheduled to meet with the opposition on Saturday. However, most of the opposition groups opted out, including the crucial National Salvation Front led by former presidential candidates Mohamed El Baradei, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa.
Egyptian opposition rejects dialogue
The major Egyptian opposition parties have rejected the offer of dialogue with the government saying President Morsi must postpone the constitutional referendum and renounce his dictatorial powers first.
In multiparty consultations which have started in Cairo, only fringe opposition groups are taking part. Their interlocutor is the governing Moslem Brotherhood, represented by the leader of the Freedom and Justice Party Saad Al-Qatatni.
The military said on Saturday morning that it is ready to step in to put an end to the ongoing violent clashes between opponents and supporters of President Muhamed Morsi.
Egypt’s army pledges safety in the country
Saturday, Egypt’s army made its first statement since protests erupted.
The military said they are responsible for the safety of people and security of state property.
Egypt is now seeing protests over a new constitutional amendment granting President Mohammed Morsi extensive powers.