CAIRO - Prominent opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said on
Saturday there could be no dialogue with Egypt's president until he rescinded a
"dictatorial" decree that he said gave the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi the
powers of a pharaoh.
The presidential decree issued on Thursday by Morsi,
elected in June with the Muslim Brotherhood behind him, expanded his powers and
caused fury amongst his opponents, prompting violent clashes in central Cairo
and other cities on Friday.
Judges, angry at measures seen as undermining
the judiciary, have threatened to strike if the declaration was not revoked and
the opposition has called for more protests, with one planned for
"There is no room for dialogue when a dictator imposes the most
oppressive, abhorrent measures and then says 'let us split the difference',"
ElBaradei said in an interview with Reuters and The Associated Press after talks
with opposition figures.
ElBaradei, who said he expected to be
coordinator of a new opposition National Salvation Front, said Morsi's
declaration threatened Egypt's troubled transition to democracy and actions were
needed to stop a "cycle of violence".
"How are we going to do that? I do
not see any other way other than through Mr. Morsi rescinding his dictatorial
declaration," he said, adding the decree created a "new pharaoh".
decree, Morsi put all his decisions beyond legal challenge as long as there is
no parliament, sacked the unpopular general prosecutor and opened the door to
retrials for the already jailed ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his
"I am waiting to see, I hope soon, a very strong statement of
condemnation by the US, by Europe and by everybody who really cares about
human dignity," ElBaradei said, speaking from his villa on the outskirts of