Egypt's MOI not responsible for 'cancelling' opposition conference: Security source

Ahram Online, Saturday 22 Jun 2013

Egypt's interior ministry says it was not asked to secure an opposition conference in Cairo's Imbaba district Friday, subsequently scaled down amid security fears

Egypt's interior ministry was not responsible for securing an opposition conference that was scheduled to be held in Cairo's working class Imbaba district Friday and was cancelled, according to what was announced, for "security reasons," a security source has told the MENA state news agency.

The conference, organised by the Egyptian Popular Current (a Nasserist movement led by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi)was set to include Sabbahi and head of the National Salvation Front (NSF) Mohamed ElBaradei.

“[It] has been cancelled to avoid any clashes or confrontations,” Heba Yassin, spokesperson for the Egyptian Popular Current, told Ahram Online Friday.

The interior ministry said it had nothing to do with holding-off the conference for security reasons.  

A scaled down meeting, without the presence of Sabbahi or ElBaradei, went ahead in place of the conference. The conference had intended to discuss potential developments ahead of mass protests against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood scheduled for 30 June.

An anti-Morsi march that was scheduled to take place in Imbaba before the conference still went ahead. Several opposition forces participated in the march, including the April 6 Youth Movement, the Constitution Party headed by ElBaradei, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, and the Egyptian Popular Current.

The rally aimed to mobilise support for the 30 June demonstrations that aim at forcing Morsi — who hails from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement — to step down and hold early presidential elections.

On Friday, clashes took place between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood and the president in several cities, including Alexandria. Dozens were injured

In Cairo, a pro-Morsi rally that began Friday afternoon drew tens of thousands but remained largely peaceful.

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