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Thousands of Islamists Back Morsi in Cairo Protest

RIA Novosti

14:33 01/12/2012

CAIRO, December 1 (RIA Novosti) - Thousands of Islamist protesters took to the streets near Cairo University on Saturday in support of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's unilateral Constitutional Declaration last week.

The protest action was coordinated by two of Egypt's largest Islamic groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Al-Nur party.

The organizers say they want to show the strength of support for Morsi, after thousands of his opponents protested in the capital's central Tahrir Square on Thursday after his November 22 declaration, which expanded his executive authority and put him above the judiciary by declaring the courts are from now on barred from challenging his decisions.

Egypt's highest judicial power, the Supreme Judicial Council, earlier called Mursi’s move “an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings.”with which he unilaterally expanded his powers in what he said was a bid to guarantee Egypt's democratic future and prevent the revolution of 2011 from being reversed.

A second "Million Protest' is taking place in support of Morsi on Saturday in the town of Asyut in the south of the country, a conservative heartland for the Islamist movement.

According to an Al Jazeera poll, 75 percent of Egyptians support the new Constitutional Declaration accepted by Morsi last week.

Liberal opponents of the new government demanding his Constitutional Declaration be canceled put up tents in Tahrir Square last week, and violent riots broke out as police moved in against them.

Egypt’s Islamist-led constitutional commission voted to approve the country’s draft constitution on Friday following an almost 19-hour long debate on the nation's new political framework.

Representatives of secular parties and Coptic Christians walked out of the debate in the Islamist dominated commission, consisting of 100 delegates, to show their disagreement with the newly-proposed constitution.

The new constitution succeeds the 1971 constitution, which was suspended less than two years ago following the ouster of ex-President Hosni Mubarak.

The document, which was approved by Morsi on Friday, will then be put to an all-nation referendum, most likely in mid-December. If the majority of Egyptians approve the new constitution, parliamentary elections will then be held.

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