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Egyptian civil disobedience could widen

04 December 2012, 08:31

Cairo - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi faced the prospect of widening civil disobedience on Monday as media and the tourism industry pondered measures to join a protest by judges against the Islamist leader.

The country's judges have already gone on strike over Morsi's 22 November decrees that placed him above judicial oversight.

Following those decrees, a panel dominated by the president's Islamist supporters rushed through a new draft constitution without participation of representatives of liberals, the Christian minority or women. Morsi then called a national referendum on 15 December to approve the new constitution.

An opposition coalition dominated by the liberal and leftist groups that led last year's uprising had already called for a general strike on Tuesday and a large demonstration against the constitutional process and Morsi's decree. They plan to march on the presidential palace in the capital Cairo.

Newspapers plan to suspend publication on Tuesday while privately owned TV networks will go dark all day. The full front pages of Egypt's most prominent newspapers on Monday said: "No to dictatorship" on a black background with a picture of a man wrapped in newspaper and with his feet cuffed.

Hotels and restaurants are considering switching off their lights for half an hour on Tuesday to protest against Morsi, according to the Supporting Tourism Coalition an independent body representing tourism industry employees.

Morsi's moves have plunged an already polarised Egypt in the worst political crises since the uprising nearly two years ago that ousted authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak.

The crisis left the country divided between Morsi and his Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood along with another ultraconservative Islamist group, the Salafis, in one camp and their opposition in the other — youth groups, liberal parties and large sectors of the public.

- AP


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