Forty-two different political parties held a press conference on Sunday at which they issued a joint statement accusing Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of "manoeuvring to deprive Egypt's incoming president of his rightful authorities" and of standing behind the recent bloodshed in Cairo's Abbasiya district.
The political forces participating at the conference pointed out that this weekend's Abbassiya demonstrations had been held to protest attempts by the SCAF to remain in power and hinder this month's presidential elections.
According to a timeline laid down by the SCAF, the military should hand over power to a civilian authority by 30 June following presidential elections slated for 23 and 24 May.
Among the parties and movements to take part in the press conference were the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Salafist Front, the April 6 Youth Movement, the Ghad El-Thawra Party, the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, the Fadila Party and National Front for Justice and Freedom.
The statement called on activists, intellectuals and media figures to stand up against what it described as the "SCAF conspiracy," urging them to unite against the ''demonization" of particular political groups. The statement also called on political forces to unite behind demands for the release of all recently-arrested political prisoners.
The statement went on to blast the SCAF for security forces' failure to protect protesters from attackers; allowing clashes to continue for an entire week; attacking injured protesters in hospitals; kidnapping protesters from the streets; and giving a green-light to thugs to kill demonstrators.
The statement asserted that the "conspiracy" had been "evident" since military forces were able to secure the area on Thursday night, which should have allowed security forces to prevent clashes from the outset.
The statement described local media as a "fraudulent media regime" that intentionally tarnished protesters' image and turned public opinion against them before killing and detaining large numbers of them in Friday's protest.
The statement added that the media had portrayed protesters as having attempted to storm the ministry, despite the protest's peaceful character.