Two major Egyptian political groups, the Salafist-oriented Nour Party and the revolutionary 6 April Youth Movement, have denounced a call made on Wednesday by army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for nationwide protests to mandate the armed forces and police to crackdown on "violence and terrorism."
The call comes following a series of violent clashes across the country between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi as well as attacks by Islamic militants against soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula.
"The act of mobilisation and counter-mobilisation foreshadows civil war," the Nour Party – a former ally of the Muslim Brotherhood which then supported the military's ouster of Morsi – said in a statement Wednesday evening.
"The state does not need delegation from its citizens to perform its original duties towards them. If the state violates the law it would be destroying itself," the Nour Party's statement continued.
The 6 April Youth Movement made similar criticisms, announcing that El-Sisi's call would only worsen the current political crisis.
"Our armed forces do not need popular delegation to perform its patriotic duties of preserving security and resisting violence with the rule of law without resorting to any arbitrary measures," the group said in a statement Wednesday night.
"We reaffirm that any measures which would lead to furthering the current tension will only throw us off the national reconciliation track and constitute a danger to our national security."
Dozens have been killed in clashes between Morsi's supporters - who have been continuously protesting his ouster - and police forces as well as unknown assailants in a wave of instability that followed the popularly-backed military overthrow of the Islamist president on 3 July.
Clashes in the restive Sinai Peninsula between the army and Islamist militants have also left dozens dead since ousted president Morsi was removed from his post by the military on 3 July amid massive protests.
El-Sisi's call for rallies has garnered support from numerous political entities but has also raised raised concerns over potential spread of violence among some.
The National Coalition in Support of Legitimacy, a Brotherhood-led alliance, had renewed its weekly call for mass marches on Friday around the country to press for Morsi's reinstatement.