Islamist parties in Egypt plan to demonstrate on Friday to show support for president Mohammed Morsi, two days before the opposition’s planned June 30 protests aimed at toppling him, AFP reported today.
Bearing the slogan, “legitimacy is a red line,” the demonstrations are planned to take place outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City district, reported AFP.
Supporters of Morsi argue that he is a legitimate president spawning from Egypt’s first free presidential election, and that the challenges with his tenure have been the result of inherited problems. They also say the opposition is made up of members of exiled president Hosni Mubarak’s old regime, and that they seek to create unrest. His opponents, on the other hand, point to policies he has enacted against police, media, judiciary, and artists that suggest he is returning the country back to authoritarianism.
This Friday’s pro-Morsi demonstrations are preceded by last week’s rally which saw tens of thousands of Islamists showing support for Islamic law, reported AFP. In a speech Wednesday, Morsi warned about the danger political polarization poses to Egypt.
Morsi has expressed consideration for constitutional amendments and commited to negotiations with opposition leaders. The National Salvation Front coalition, representing Egypt’s opposition, declined the offers for talks and called for early presidential elections, reported AFP.
Although he admitted making mistakes during his time in office, Morsi is adamant that he be the one to correct them. He cautioned the Egyptian press not to abuse the freedoms gained during the 2011 revolution, AFP reported.
Mohammed al-Amin, who owns CBC television in Egypt, was prevented form leaving the country on Thursday because of charges of tax evasion, AFP reported. CBC hosts Bassem Youssef's wildly popular satire show, which has taken heat by Morsi’s administration for poking fun at the president and Islam. Morsi cited al-Amin by name in his speech on Wednesday.
The Egyptian army has warned that it will step in should protests turn violent. Officials say reinforcements have been stationed at important sites, reported AFP.
People in Cairo have spent the week stocking up on cash and food supplies, as some companies plan to stay closed Sunday, AFP reported.