Sunday, November 25, 2012

Divisions in Egypt deepen

 Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to supporters outside the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Opponents and supporters of Mohammed Morsi clashed across Egypt on Friday, the day after the president granted himself sweeping new powers that critics fear can allow him to be a virtual dictator. (AP Photo/Aly Hazaza, El Shorouk)
 President Morsi on Friday adressed followers in front of the presidential palace (AP).

The declaration which the Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi isssued on Thursday continues to divide the Egyptians. The president is faced by a strike by a part of the country's judges, while other judges expressed their support, (see below). At the same time the divide between the Islamists, mainly the Muslim Brothershood's Freedom and Justice Party which backs the president, and almost all other parties deepened further.    

These other parties on Saturday constituted a new 'National Front' in order to defeat Morsi's declaration. It stated that no dialogue with the president will be held until he has withdrawn the declaration.  The new Front includes the Constitution Party, the Egyptian Popular Current, the Social Democratic Party, the Free Egypt Party, the Wafd Party, the Free Egyptians Party, and the Coalition of Nasserist Parties amog others. The meeting was attended by people like former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, Mohamed ElBaradei of the Constitution Party, former head of Arab league Amr Mousa , former MP Amr Hamzawy,.former Constituent Assembly Spokesperson Wahid Abdel-Meguid, President Morsi's recently resigned Presidential Advisor Samir Morqos. Also present were representatives of former presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh.
The reaction of the new National Front makes me, AbuP., wonder why the Front is not ready to consider a more conciliatory tone. Why, for instance, would the front not try to accept the measures aiming at as yet realising justice for the protesters who were killed during demostrations? While at the other hand try to find a compromise in the case of Morsi's block of juridical moves to disband  the Constitutional Assembly? 
In the meantime, however,  also the judges made themselves heard. Hundreds of judges held an extraordinary general assembly for the Judges' Club at the High Court headquarters in downtown Cairo to discuss measures against the constitutional decree which, they said, undermines their independence. Also Egypt's Supreme Judiciary Council (SJC) issued a statement describing Morsi's move as "unprecedented attack on judiciary independence."  The Courts and prosecution offices in the Delta governorates of Qalioubiya and Alexandrië announced that they went on strike.
At the other hand some hundreds of judges united in a  movenet called "Judges for Egypt" declared on Saturday their support for President Mohamed Morsi's newly issued declaration. They held a meeting in opposition to the general assembly.

The sacked Prosecuror geeral Abdel Meguid Mahmoud (AFP).

As a footnote to the 'dawshe' that Morsi caused with his decree, the ousted prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud on Saturday attempted to rebutt accusations that his office was slow or ineffective in prosecuting those who killed unarmed protesters after the January 25 uprising. He pointed a finger at the ministry of the Interior for not referring any suspects to his office. "The ministry of interior has never referred any suspects to the office of the prosecutor general in the Two Saints church bombing in January 2010, Maspero massacre October 2011, Mohamed Mahmoud clashes in November 2011 and the cabinet clashes December  2011,' Mahmoud said. 

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