Violence hits Egypt after Morsi speech

Morsi is rejecting the demand that he resign and hold early elections a year after entering office.

June 27, 2013 22:46
1 minute read.
Protesters gesture and raise their shoes while chanting anti-Mursi, anti-Muslim Brotherhood sloga

egypt protesters middle finger 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Opposition protesters clashed with supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, after he gave his national address on Wednesday night.

In his speech, Morsi rejected the demand that he resign and hold early elections a year after entering office.

The subsequent clashes have left several dead and nearly 300 people injured as of Wednesday night, according to Ahram Online and Reuters. Anti-government protesters converged on Tahrir Square already on Wednesday night, setting up tents ahead of the mass rally scheduled for Sunday. The protests on Sunday are expected to be the largest since the 2011 revolution.

Morsi’s Islamist supporters are planning their own demonstration on Friday.

Morsi offered talks for “national reconciliation” and constitutional change to end the polarizing crisis that he said was threatening the country’s democracy.

But despite the rhetoric for compromise, it seems that nobody is willing to bend enough to satisfy the other side.

In an interview on Egyptian TV, Hamdeen Sabahi, a leader of the National Salvation Front, a coalition of opposition groups, said that Morsi’s speech was “boring” and added nothing new, according to a report by Daily News Egypt.

“The only decision we waited for... was for the president to respect the people’s will and step down, holding early presidential elections where he can run as candidate once more,” Sabahi said.

Anticipating violence, the Interior Ministry canceled vacations for all security personnel in order to be ready in case the protests get out of control, according to a report in Al-Ahram Weekly.

In addition, the Muslim Brotherhood youth have been ordered to guard the presidential palace, and those members living in Cairo have been encouraged to host those that are coming from outside the city.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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