Breaking: Presidency against break up of pro-Morsy sit-ins

Heated discussions flared up late Sunday at the presidency after it expressed its rejection of ideas to break up the Rabaa al-Adaweya and al-Nahda protests using force or even peaceful means, sources told Egypt Independent.

Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei discussed with Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim as well as other security bodies the dangers of dispersing the two sit-ins, let alone forcibly.

New strategy

ElBaradei said that the Muslim Brotherhood is already losing support day after day because of its sit-ins,which means that they could lose all sympathisers within a month or two if the sit-ins are left to continue.

He also said that the Brotherhood are trying to gain the sympathy of the world and internal public opinion with official calls to dismantle the protest and that is why they have children and women in the front lines of their protests.

The Brotherhood will sustain heavy losses with the continuation of the protest for more than two months. In addition, the protesters themselves want to get back to work after the long break they took during the month of Ramadan, he argued.

He called for making an official announcement that the sit-ins will not be dismantled, but added that  any other protesters will be dispersed to embarrass the Brotherhood and reduce sympathy with their sit-ins.

He finally said that breaking up the protests might lead to several deaths and casualties which the Brotherhood will exploit to win sympathy and achieve gains that they believe will help them reinstate Morsy.

On the other hand, Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood's English website, published a statement on Monday, as a response to claims that they are losing popularity, citing a study conducted by the Egyptian Center for Media Studied and the public opinion group Intergrating Egypt. The statement showed that the results of the study indicated an increase in the number of Egyptians opposed to deposing Morsy to 69 percent, while only 25 percent still think it is best "to keep Morsy in isolation".

Hany Abdel-Latif, Interior Ministry spokesperson, did not deny that discussions at the presidency have been going on.

"The ministry is ready for all scenarios," he told Egypt Independent. "We are ready to disperse the sit-in if it but we will act upon the political decision."

Egypt Independent has learned that security bodies are still examining proposals from the presidency not to break up the two sit-ins to undermine the Brotherhood's plans to spread chaos and win public support.

Mixed signals

While discussions are taking place at the presidency, Anadolu agency reported that army reinforcements arrived at al-Nahda Square in Giza, signalling an imminent dispersal.

Eye-witnesses told the agency that nearly six APCs and scores of soldiers have reached the Cairo University Bridge, in addition to three ambulances which stationed near the Giza Zoo gate.

According to numerous Egyptian news websites, expectations are high that authorities will start dispersing the sit-in, along with another major, month-old one at Rabaa al-Adaweya Square in Cairo.

Mohsen Radi, a member of the Anti-Coup Alliance and the Freedom and Justice Party's National Committee, said, “It is very well known that [the police] are losers. We are sure they won't do anything.”

“They hope they will attack the sit-in, but they have already failed,” he added.

The two sit-ins have been staged for approximately 40 days to call for the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsy. The government had said it plans to break up the protests because they are not peaceful, accusing the protesters of possessing weapons and disrupting life in the neighborhood.

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