Leading democracy advocate Mohammed ElBaradei speaks to a handful of journalists including the Associated Press saying dialogue with Egypt’s Islamist president is not possible until he rescinds his decrees giving himself near absolute powers, at his home on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate for his past work as the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, has formed a “National Salvation Front” with other liberal and secular leaders, trying to unify the opposition against Morsi. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)
CAIRO (AP) — Prominent Egyptian democracy advocate Mohammed ElBaradei warned Saturday of increasing turmoil that could potentially lead to the military stepping in unless the Islamist president rescinds his new, near absolute powers, as the country’s long fragmented opposition sought to unite and rally new protests.
Egypt’s liberal and secular forces — long divided, weakened and uncertain amid the rise of Islamist parties to power — are seeking to rally themselves in response to the decrees issued this week by President Mohammed Morsi. The president granted himself sweeping powers to “protect the revolution” and made himself immune to judicial oversight.
The judiciary, which was the main target of Morsi’s edicts, pushed back Saturday. The country’s highest body of judges, the Supreme Judical Council, called his decrees an “unprecedented assault.” Courts in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria announced a work suspension until the decrees are lifted.
Outside the high court building in Cairo, several hundred demonstrators rallied against Morsi, chanting, “Leave! Leave!” echoing the slogan used against former leader Hosni Mubarak in last year’s uprising that ousted him. Police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of young men who were shooting flares outside the court.
The edicts issued Wednesday have galvanized anger brewing against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, ever since he took office in June as Egypt’s Login to read more