Nasserist leader: Protests to continue until Morsi decree overturned

Ahram Online, Monday 26 Nov 2012

Egypt's opposition will maintain popular protests until President Morsi's controversial decree is annulled, a defiant Hamdeen Sabbahi declares at Monday press conference

Hamdeen Sabahi
Former Egyptian presidential candidate, Hamdeen Sabahi attends the funeral of Gaber Salah, who was who was killed during clashes with security forces in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. (Photo: AP)

Hamdeen Sabbahi, founder of the Egyptian Popular Current, stated at a Monday press conference that opposition protests would continue until President Mohamed Morsi's recently issued decree – which has caused a political firestorm in Egypt – was annulled.

On Thursday, Morsi issued a decree temporarily making all his decisions immune from legal challenges. The decree also protects the Islamist-led Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting a new constitution, and the Shura Council (the upper house of parliament) from dissolution by court order.

Morsi's surprise declaration was met with uproar by Egypt's opposition forces, who described it as an "attack on democracy" and a "threat to judicial independence." Tens of thousands demonstrated against the move on Friday in Cairo and other Egyptian governorates.

Sabbahi asserted that the annulment of the decree represented the main demand of the National Front, which is "fighting the fire of dictatorship."

The National Front was established on Saturday by several prominent political figures in an attempt to counter the Morsi's divisive decree.

Monday's press conference was attended by various political figures, including the liberal Wafd Party's Sayed El-Badawi, who sarcastically thanked Morsi for issuing the decree, which, he said, "has united the National Front for the first time since the January 25 Revolution."

El-Badawi added that the front would not negotiate with Morsi until the controversial decree was overturned.

Mohamed Abul-Ghar, for his part, head of the Egyptian Democratic Party, described the current situation as "disastrous."

"But Egyptians have changed [since last year's popular uprising], and they will bring down the president's decree," Abul-Ghar said.

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