Egypt's Islamists to hold rival demo same day as protesters
Agence France-Presse in Cairo
Egyptian Islamist movements, including President Mohammed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, will hold a rival demonstration on Tuesday, the same day as protests organised by the opposition, a Brotherhood spokesman told AFP.
A coalition called the Alliance of Islamist Forces “is calling for a demonstration Tuesday under the slogan ‘Yes to legitimacy’,” in support of a constitutional referendum championed by Mursi, Mahmud Ghozlan said.
The rival rallies in Cairo raise the potential for clashes such as those that erupted last Wednesday, killing seven people and wounding hundreds.
The coalition, which includes the Brotherhood and its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), as well as Salafist political groups, said on Saturday it was against postponing a referendum on a new draft constitution, which has become the focal point of Egypt’s current crisis.
The Saturday statement stressed the “need to carry out a referendum on the constitution on its due date without any alterations or delay,” warning that “all options are open to the Islamist forces to preserve legitimacy and elected state institutions.”
Egypt’s worst political crisis since Mursi was elected in June started with calls for him to repeal a November decree granting him sweeping new powers and was exacerbated by the new charter, drafted by an Islamist-leaning panel, which is set for a referendum on Saturday.
Mursi repealed the decree late on Saturday night but opposition protesters had already begun calling for Mursi to go altogether.