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Brotherhood calls on opposition to end protests, accept referendum

Muslim Brotherhood praises President Morsi’s new decree, calls on opposition to end demonstrations and ‘accept democracy’

Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Dec 2012
Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Views: 1454
Views: 1454

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday declared its full support President Mohamed Morsi’s new constitutional decree.

The decree, which came after a national dialogue meeting on Saturday, abrogated the controversial 22 November Constitutional Declaration – maintaining any decisions resulting from the decree which included the installation of a new prosecutor-general – and said the constitutional referendum would go ahead as planned on 15 December.

Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan said dialogue was the only "civilised" way to solve the country’s problems and work towards its interests.

The ballot box should have the final say in any disagreement, he said. Egyptians should therefore vote in the 15 December referendum.

Parliamentary elections would follow the referendum and help bring stability to the country, he added.

"The constitutional decree of November 2012, which caused recent conflicts, has been cancelled by the new decree issued on 8 December. There is now no excuse for mass mobilisation," the statement read, referring to opposition calls for further protests against both the decree and the draft constitution.

"We reject all forms of violence and thuggery that have led to the torching and damaging of [Muslim Brotherhood] offices, the killing of young people and thousands of injuries," the statement added.

The Brotherhood stressed it would accept the results of the referendum and asked the opposition to do the same.

"This is the basis of democracy; so will [the opposition] accept it? Or will they continue mobilising, demonstrating, threatening and damaging [the country]?"

"This will reveal who cares about the country's interest and who serves particular agendas and personal interests," the statement concluded.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets over the past week calling for President Morsi to withdraw his 22 November Constitutional Declaration, which gave him sweeping powers, and to condemn the draft constitution.

Supporters of President Morsi have taken to the streets to show support for the decree and the draft constitution. Violence between the two opposing factions has resulted in at least six deaths and hundreds of injuries.

There have been a number of attacks across the country on local headquarters of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

The dialogue meeting on Saturday was boycotted by most opposition figures. Most of the attendees were close to the Brotherhood.

Opposition forces are planning demonstrations on Sunday to object to the results of the dialogue, which they say are not satisfactory because the consequences of the earlier decree remain in place and the constitutional referendum will be held on 15 December despite opposition objections to the draft constitution and the assembly that drafted it. 

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