Thousands rally in support of Morsi

Sunday, December 02, 2012
Egyptian President Mohamed
Morsi [File Photo]
Cairo: Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi turned out to demonstrate in Cairo and other towns and cities across the country on Saturday in support of new expanded powers which Mohamed Morsi, the elected president, seized last week provoking a crisis with the judiciary and unleashing a furious outcry from the opposition.

The rally was in a different part of the capital, away from Tahrir Square, where an around-the-clock protest rally against Morsi and his actions is now in its ninth day.

Thousands of the president's supporters waved Egyptian flags and chanted slogans in his favor Saturday in front of Cairo University in Giza. Speakers harangued the crowd, demanding that Egypt's new draft constitution be adopted.

Activists from both the Muslim Brotherhood group and the more hardline Salafist Nour Party led the crowd in chants of "the people want to apply God's law." Islamist supporters of Morsi insist the new constitution must be based on Islamic sharia law.

The rump committee that drafted Egypt's proposed new constitution Friday is expected to present the document to Morsi in a matter of hours. Secular and liberal members have withdrawn from the committee, complaining that Islamists are over-represented in the group, and dominating its work.

Fighting between supporters and foes of the president and the new constitution broke out early Saturday in Alexandria. Rocks were thrown at an anti-Morsi crowd that had gathered in front of the Qaid Ibrahim mosque in Egypt's second largest city.

A number of Arab analysts say the worries about increased violence are valid. They see the political situation in Egypt as deadlocked, with Egyptian society divided down the middle between support or opposition to President Morsi.
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