Egypt showdown fears mount

2013-06-28 12:00
Egyptian Islamist groups led by the ruling Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans during a demonstration to mark the upcoming one year anniversary since President Mohamed Morsi was elected in Cairo.

Egyptian Islamist groups led by the ruling Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans during a demonstration to mark the upcoming one year anniversary since President Mohamed Morsi was elected in Cairo. (Gianluigi Guercia)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Fears mounted of a bloody showdown between supporters and opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on Friday after one activist was killed in the latest violence to cloud the Arab world's most populous democracy.

Islamist groups called on their supporters to camp out indefinitely in a Cairo square two days before a planned protest by the mainly secular opposition to demand Morsi's resignation just a year after he took office.

The Islamists charge that their opponents are undermining Egypt's fledgling democracy less than two and a half years after the popular uprising that overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Their opponents say that the president has reneged on his promise to rule for all Egyptians and has failed to deliver on the uprising's aspirations for freedom and social justice.

The overnight violence erupted in the eastern part of the Nile Delta, north of the capital, Morsi's own home province.

Rival demonstrators clashed outside offices of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, on whose platform the president won election last year.

The FJP said on its website that one of its supporters was killed. Thirty people were also wounded, the health ministry said.

Growing polarisation

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies called on their supporters to mass outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasr City district under the slogan "legitimacy is a red line".

The Islamists charge that opposition demands for Morsi's departure, barely a year after he won Egypt's first freely contested election, amount to an attempted coup and accuse the opposition of sympathy with the ousted Mubarak.

The president himself warned in a televised speech on Wednesday that the growing polarisation between his fans and foes threatens to "paralyse" Egypt.

He pledged to consider constitutional reforms and appealed to the opposition to join talks.

It was his latest attempt to strike up a dialogue between political factions in a country deeply split between his Islamist allies and an opposition of leftists, liberals, Christians and some Muslim groups.

But late on Thursday, the opposition National Salvation Front coalition rejected his offer of talks and renewed its call for a snap election to replace him.

Since taking office a year ago, Morsi has squared off against the judiciary, media, police and even artists.

However, he has admitted to failings and has vowed to correct them.

"I have made many mistakes, there is no question. Mistakes can happen, but they need to be corrected," he said.

He warned the media against abusing the freedoms they won from the 2011 uprising.

Key cities

Judges imposed a ban on foreign travel on Thursday on the owner of a private television channel that hosts a popular satire show.

Mohammed al-Amin, owner of CBC television, faces charges of tax evasion, and Morsi singled him out by name in Wednesday's speech.

The army, which oversaw the transition from Mubarak's autocratic rule but has been on the sidelines since Morsi's election, warned it would intervene if violence breaks out.

It has brought in reinforcements to key cities, security officials said.

In Cairo, residents are withdrawing cash and stocking up on food, and many companies have said they will close on Sunday, the first day of the working week in Egypt.

Fuel shortages have seen drivers queueing outside petrol stations through the night, bringing parts of the capital to a standstill.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  egypt protests  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.