- Middle East/North Africa
Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in various governorates Tuesday night to denounce the final draft of the constitution approved by the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly, as well as the new constitutional declaration issued on 22 November which greatly expands President Mohamed Morsy’s power.
Protesters in Assiut, carried a coffin covered in Egypt’s flag as a symbolic death announcement for the 15 December referendum. They chanted slogans demanding Morsy should step down.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper’s website quoted Nasser Youssef, a member of the Free Egyptians Party, as saying that constitutions all over the world are written by consensus, not by a single group, irrespective of how large it is, because constitutions are crafted to protect the rights of minorities.
In Luxor, about 700 kilometers south of Cairo, thousands of members of revolutionary movements and political parties protested Morsy and chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Port Said, north of Cairo, protesters tore down banners supporting Morsy across the city.
Thousands of protesters in Alexandria demanded the resignation of the current government and the formation of a national salvation one instead. They also chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide.
“The constitution makes Morsy a god that cannot be tried or questioned by Parliament or the judiciary,” said Abdel Rahman al-Gohary, one of the protest coordinators.
Mohamed Saad Khairallah, general coordinator of the Popular Front against the Brotherhoodization of Egypt, considered the demonstration outside the presidential palace a decisive battle to retain the goals of the revolution.
In the city of Mahalla inn Gharbiya governorate, a number of political forces and parties staged an evening a protest in Shoan Square against the declaration and upcoming constitutional referendum.
Dozens of protesters took part in the protest which turned into a march that roamed the city streets. Other political forces preferred to head to Tahrir Square to participate in the marches heading to the presidential palace in Heliopolis on Tuesday evening.
The protesters set up a tent in Shoan Square and chanted against President Mohamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood. They chanted: “Down with the rule of the supreme guide,” “The people want to bring down the regime,” “Down with Mohamed Morsy,” and “No Salafis, no Brothers, the revolution is still in the square.”
In Kafr al-Sheikh, dozens continued to demonstrate for the fifth day in a row against the new constitution. They were joined by members of the April 6 Youth Movement and the Wafd, Tagammu and Constitution parties. The demonstrators distributed leaflets saying the constitution should be rejected because it only represents a single trend of society.
Revolutionary forces and movements in Minya also held marches against the constitution. They were joined by school students and women’s organizations. April 6 Youth Movement coordinator in Minya Alaa Kibawy said the only way out of this crisis is that all political forces hold a dialogue on it.
Clashes took place between security forces and protesters at the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Minya Tuesday evening, and tear gas was used to disperse demonstrators against the constitutional declaration. A security cordon was imposed in the surrounding streets, fully closing them.
In Damietta, revolutionary movements, the April 6 Youth Movement, the Democratic Front, the Popular Current, the Constitution Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party held similar demonstrations.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm and MENA