Egypt opposition forces unite in Tahrir and at presidential palace

Egypt opposition forces unite in Tahrir and at presidential palace

Prior to the constitutional referendum slated for 15 December, thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square Tuesday to express their unhappiness with Egypt's draft constitution and President Mohamed Morsi's controversial 22 November constitutional declaration, Ahram Online reported.

Morsi's constitutional declaration made the president's decisions impervious to judicial challenge and protects the Islamist-dominated Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament) and Constituent Assembly (which wrote the new constitution) from dissolution by court order.

"Everything in the current constitution has been carefully constructed to serve Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda," said Nahid Rouchdy, a political activist who also works in tourism. She went on to point out that, under the terms of the draft constitution, Egypt's democratically elected Shura Council would be able to pass any law that it wanted.

Rouchdy went on to note Morsi's authority to appoint and dismiss anyone in government, as had been the case in the Mubarak era. The activist, in her fifties, also pointed to a clause that was removed from the draft constitution that bars the creation of political parties that have religious associations.

"Many of the clauses in the articles aren't clear and are thus open to interpretation. I urge all Egyptians to read it thoroughly," said Rouchdy, whose young daughter has been participating in the ongoing Tahrir Square sit-in for the past 12 days.

Cheers, cries and prayers could be heard on Tuesday as thousands of people converged on the capital's iconic square. Many voiced their intention to stay in Tahrir to ensure that it was not infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and to avoid clashes with police.

Individuals from all walks of life took part in Tuesday's demonstration, which coincided with a strike by Egyptian journalists, who marched from their syndicate headquarters to Tahrir Square. Many tourism sector workers also staged protests in the square.

"We're here today protesting against the draft constitution, which does not mention tourism," said Rasha Bashir, a human resources manager at one of Egypt's leading tourism companies. According to Riham Hussein, the manager of a diving centre in Sharm Al-Sheikh, similar demonstrations are currently being held in Sharm.

"We would rather die like human beings with our rights intact than as slaves to another corrupt system! I came back from France last week to be part of this," shouted Ghada Salem, a member of Egypt's Green Party.

Ahram Online met others like Salem who had flown back to Egypt from abroad to take part in this week's demonstrations.

Tahrir's central stage gave a platform to many Morsi critics, who voiced their demands and instigated chants denouncing the president and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"I voted for you Morsi and you betrayed us! Forget our freedoms with the Brotherhood," said one man via megaphone.

Others expressed disappointment with the government's performance to date, highlighting Egypt's deteriorating economy, health and education sectors.

"Morsi got money from Saudi but did nothing to develop the country. I don't go to school as it has become too expensive," said 12-year-old Mohamed Ahmed Sabit.

"I have three girls and I can't look after them," exclaimed Ahmed Metwalli, a foule and taamaya vendor. "Food has become too expensive."

While protests in Tahrir Square continued throughout the day, a thousands-strong march to the presidential palace - called for by Egypt's National Salvation Front after Morsi announced the date for the upcoming referendum - began at 5pm. The front was recently established by prominent reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei and former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa.

As the nationwide protests reached a crescendo on Tuesday it remained unclear how the political impasse would be resolved, with the constitutional referendum less than two weeks away.

Some political analysts say the only way to resolve the deadlock is to call off the referendum and establish a committee of independent figures and international experts to revise contentious draft articles, while simultaneously establishing a "more representative" Constituent Assembly to address the amended constitution. Analysts, however, remain doubtful that such amendments will be made.

LUKOIL refusing plans to construct giant petrochemical complexes
LUKOIL refusing plans to construct giant petrochemical complexes
LUKOIL says reducing oil exports to Europe is inevitable
LUKOIL says reducing oil exports to Europe is inevitable
Russian insurance agency to fund Uzbekistan’s hydrocarbon raw materials production
Russian insurance agency to fund Uzbekistan’s hydrocarbon raw materials production
Loading Bars
Units of the Azerbaijan Army entered the Kalbajar region
Pennsylvania certifies election results for Biden
Iran, Qatar sign MoU to cooperate on economy
Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan being liberated from Armenian occupation today
China, Japan eye closer cooperation amid COVID-19 pandemic
Construction of the TAPI gas pipeline in Afghanistan territory will continue next year
ICESCO SecGen sends letter to President Aliyev
Azerbaijani, Russian presidents hold phone talks
Urban transformation back on track for ‘abandoned’ Istanbul neighborhood
“Scorched earth” strategy of Armenians leaving Azerbaijani Kalbajar region did not escape EC attention - report
President Rouhani: Iran to be able to mass produce coronavirus vaccine soon
Turkmenistan is convinced of the need to attract political-diplomatic tools to achieve peace and prosperity in Afghanistan
Georgian banks see increase in interest income
Azerbaijan’s revenues from export of hazelnuts down
Azerbaijan’s import of plastics and plastic products drops
Turkmenistan will continue to cooperate with Afghanistan on security issues
Nursing homes will be first to get COVID-19 vaccine in Spain
Troops from Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan who took part in Karabakh conflict, return home (PHOTO)
Speaker of Azerbaijani parliament takes part in int’l conference initiated by Turkish parliament, PACE (PHOTO)
Any result that acceptable for Azerbaijan - acceptable for Turkey too, FM says
Volume of paid services in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic down
Azerbaijan shows aerial footage of Shusha city (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan eyeing to develop information system for accounting of oil and gas condensate
Anglo Asian Mining's production of precious metals in Azerbaijan may decrease
Uzbekistan eyes to increase share of renewable energy sources by 2030
Airbus CEO says industry might need until 2025 to reach pre-crisis levels
Parliament's plan to increase subsides - costly for Iranian government
Ukrainian companies enter Uzbek commodity exchange
National Bank of Georgia reveals data on losses of commercial banks
Import of sugar and confectionery by Azerbaijan down
Demand for Turkish electrical goods on Kazakh market grows in 10M2020
Azerbaijan confirms 1,259 more COVID-19 recoveries
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Azerbaijan discloses data on destroyed houses in liberated Fuzuli district
Baku Media Center prepares video covering Armenian vandalism on occupied territories of Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Russian president hopes for participation of int’l organizations in Karabakh conflict settlement
Power abuse by major states prevents resolving conflicts - Russian FM
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy electrical products via tender
Turkmenistan offers business opportunities for Switzerland in number of fields
North-South Corridor - on Iran's agenda - Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran
Turkish, Russian military personnel to jointly patrol in Nagorno-Karabakh - Turkish MoD
Azerbaijan shows footage from Abdal, Gulabli villages of Aghdam district (VIDEO)
Egyptian air operator enters Uzbek market
Uzbekistan to introduce changes to electricity payments in 2021
Iran assigns more funds to complete unfinished projects
Turkmenistan's Turkmennebit opens tender for purchase of equipment
Azerbaijan’s startup sector expects big investments
Iran's ten-month import of steel from Turkey drops
Tesla set to breach $500 billion in market value
State budget for 2021-2023 approved in Kazakhstan following amendments introduction
Kazakhstan's bitumen output exceeds 2020 plan as maintenance works held country-wide
Port of Baku reveals total 10M2020 cargo shipments
New railway vehicles put into operation in Iran
Iran`s Zarif to visit Moscow and Baku despite postponement
Kazakhstan looking to double renewables share in electricity production
Iran continues to cut reliance on oil revenue
Volume of container transshipment between Kazakh, Azerbaijani ports almost triples
LUKOIL refusing plans to construct giant petrochemical complexes
Iran, Qatar sign an extensive Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate cooperation
Switzerland names main trade statistics with Turkmenistan
Dry cargo transshipments through Baku port grow in 10M2020
LUKOIL says reducing oil exports to Europe is inevitable
Georgia receives new buses of modern standards
Georgian hazelnuts exports up
Georgia sees increase in export of tangerines
Ryanair wants to be 'at front of queue' for new 737 MAX order
Azercell’s Mobile Eye Clinic joins campaign for IDPs initiated by the UN (PHOTO)
El Al to launch Tel Aviv - Dubai flights next month
Kazakhstan’s third-quarter economic performance benefits from recovery of oil prices
Azerbaijan informs UNESCO, ISESCO about results of initial monitorings on liberated areas
Turkmenistan’s private sector participates in dev't of poultry farming
Iran discloses plan on creation of new jobs in Yazd Province
Destroyed Armenian positions firing at Azerbaijani army during recent hostilities shown (PHOTOS)
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses data from foreign exchange auction
CBI announces Iran's external debt
Azerbaijan starts to grow bananas - Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture
Azerbaijani servicemen help Armenians to move belongings from villages of Aghdam district (VIDEO)
PAYSIS expanding range of innovative services in Azerbaijan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 24
E-Space reveals volume of EVs registered in Georgia
Azerbaijan discloses volume of tobacco harvested this season
Russian insurance agency to fund Uzbekistan’s hydrocarbon raw materials production
Iran to boost apple production
Georgia reveals volume of exported apples
Income of Chinese contractor of infrastructural projects in Georgia up
We were able to get necessary international support in key issue for us - President Aliyev
LUKOIL says $40/bbl is worst case scenario for oil prices
If we had not created necessary legal framework for resolving conflict, we could have faced problems today - President Aliyev
Iran registers order at COVAX to buy vaccine
Air traffic reduces in Georgia - EUROCONTROL
Second asphalt layer of Ashgabat-Turkmenabat highway being laid
Russian Export Center discloses value of support for exports to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's import of limestone, cement down in 10M2020
Aghdam operation was part of our plans - President Aliyev
Kocharyan and Sargsyan, you have knelt before us - President of Azerbaijan
We will restore the city of Aghdam - President of Azerbaijan
No-one should worry, especially leaders of Western countries - President Aliyev
Pashinyan imprisoning captures all opposition, West remains silent - President Aliyev
Many times when I was on line of contact, in trenches, I thought that one day we would return - President of Azerbaijan
I said, Pashinyan, you personally must give us a timetable, you must do it yourself - President Aliyev
All news