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Revolutionary forces call for mass protest against 'coup d'état'

Egypt's revolutionary forces prepare for 'million-man' march Tuesday to condemn addendum to constitutional declaration reducing powers of incoming president

Ahram Online, Tuesday 19 Jun 2012
Mass demonstration against government attempt to impose military-friendly clauses in a constitution in November 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

Revolutionary groups will participate in Tuesday's planned nationwide protests against the military junta's recent moves to strip the incoming president of real power via an addendum to the country's temporary constitution.

The April 6 Youth Movement, the Revolutionary Socialists and the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, are among the groups heading to Cairo's Tahrir Square Tuesday afternoon.

"The declaration is a clear coup d'état against the will of the people… and will lead to a puppet president," said Ahmed Ezzat, of the Revolutionary Socialists.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party will be joining the protest with the additional goals of condemning Thursday's court ruling that dissolved parliament and rejecting the formation of a new constitution-drafting assembly by the junta.

The two Islamist groups, which together hold more than 70 per cent of the seats in parliament, initially called for a march to the parliament building but the idea was rejected by other groups.  

On Thursday, Egypt’s High Constitutional Court declared the Parliamentary Elections Law – which governed last year’s parliamentary poll – unconstitutional. The following day the junta ordered the closure of parliament's doors.

On Monday, two prominent MPs – Mohamed El-Omda and Mahmoud El-Khodeiry – were barred by military authorities from entering the parliament building.

Meanwhile, junta member Mamdouh Shahin announced Monday that if the recently formed constituent assembly (tasked with drafting the new constitution) fails to complete its work, an alternative assembly would be formed by the junta within one week to write the constitution and complete the task within three months.

A number of revolutionary groups, including the April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front) and the Socialist Popular Alliance, will march Tuesday to the parliament building from the former headquarters of the now-dissolved National Democratic Party.

On Tuesday morning, a number of syndicates, including the Engineering Syndicate, protested against the junta's controversial new decree allowing military personnel to arrest civilians for non-military crimes.

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