Egypt Independent

Presidential team to meet as protests rage over constitutional declaration

President Mohamed Morsy’s team of advisers and assistants will meet Saturday to discuss ways to end the civil unrest caused by his constitutional declaration on Thursday.

Ayman al-Sayyad, an adviser to Morsy, told BBC Arabic that the country was witnessing a split, and that as a result, “the first topic at tomorrow's meeting is how we can get out of this crisis. There must be a solution."

The advising team, made up of 17 advisers and four presidential assistants, was not involved with Morsy’s recent decision to grant himself more power, according to Sayyad, who himself expressed strong reservation over some of the powers even as he understood the reasoning behind them.

Earlier reports said that presidential assistant Samir Morcos and adviser Sakina Fouad had resigned from the team, but the news has not yet been verified.

The Cabinet issued a statement claiming that Morsy's constitutional declaration has not given the president any new powers to the president, as he has sole legislative powers since the dissolution of the People’s Assembly.

The Cabinet added that the constitution drafting process must be sped up and followed by parliamentary elections as soon as possible in order to end Morsy’s monopoly on power and regulate relationships between different branches of government.

Protesters are continuing a sit-in at Tahrir Square demanding that the president rescind his constitutional declaration. Groups taking part in the protest include the Free Egyptian Party, the April 6 Youth Movement, the Wafd Party, the National Front for Change, the Popular Current and the Constitution Party.

The Interior Ministry has called on protesters to refrain from escalating tensions, saying that the police are responsible for providing security and protecting property and calling on protesters to express their views peacefully.