28 November 2012

Egypt: Protests Continue in Crisis Over Mursi Powers

Photo: Xinhua/Amru Salahuddien
Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square.

Cairo — Hundreds of demonstrators were in Cairo's Tahrir Square for a sixth day on Wednesday, demanding that President Mohamed Mursi rescind a decree they say gives him dictatorial powers, while two of Egypt's top courts stopped work in protest.

Police fired tear gas into a mob of stone-throwing protesters on a street near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Other Egyptian demonstrators staged a sit-in Wednesday at Tahrir Square, the epicenter of protests during last year's ouster of Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi granted himself new powers in a November 22 decree that bars the judiciary from challenging his decisions.

Protesters say they will stay in Tahrir until the decree is withdrawn, bringing fresh turmoil to a nation at the heart of the Arab Spring and delivering a new blow to an economy already on the ropes.

The Muslim Brotherhood and allied groups plan to hold nationwide protests in support of Morsi on Saturday. Mahmud Ghozlan, a senior Brotherhood member and spokesperson, said the rally would be held in Cairo. This comes after the movement cancelled a rival rally meant to be held in Cairo on Tuesday to "avoid potential unrest."

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