Deputy head of Watan Party Yousry Hamad (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Salafist Watan Party deputy leader Yousry Hammad has denounced anti-Morsi protests scheduled for 30 June – the anniversary of the president's inauguration – as "illegitimate."
Speaking at a press conference in Alexandria, Hammad said Mohamed Morsi is the legitimate president and the Watan Party would reject calls for his overthrow “until the end."
“If Morsi is overthrown, no future president will be able to stay in his position,” Hammad said. A violent assault on the president’s legitimacy would send the country “into a dark tunnel” or lead to the return of military rule.
Egypt’s opposition is calling for mass protests on 30 June to pressure President Morsi to call early presidential elections.
Hammad criticised a statement by Sheikh Yasser Borhami of the Salafist Calling that acknowledged the people’s right to revolt against the president if he doesn’t fulfil his promises. He noted that Borhami had issued an edict before the January 25 Revolution condemning protests against the ruler as "un-Islamic."
The Watan Party, a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi, was formed by former Salafist Nour Party chairman Emad Abdel-Ghafour in January 2013 after he fell out with Borhami, a founder of the Salafist Calling which created the Nour Party in 2011.
The Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party dominated parliamentary elections in 2011, winning around 60 percent of the seats.