Egypt erupts over Mursi ‘power grab’

Updated 25 November 2012
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Egypt erupts over Mursi ‘power grab’

Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi’s decision to assume sweeping powers caused fury among his opponents and prompted violent clashes in central Cairo and other cities yesterday.
Police fired tear gas near Tahrir Square where thousands demanded Mursi quit and accused him of launching a “coup” and “power grab.” There were violent protests in Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.
Opponents accused Mursi, who has issued a decree that puts his decisions above legal challenge until a new Parliament is elected, of being the new Mubarak and hijacking the revolution.
“The people want to bring down the regime,” shouted protesters in Tahrir, echoing a chant used in the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down. “Get out, Mursi,” they chanted, along with “Mubarak tell Mursi, jail comes after the throne.”
Mursi’s aides said the presidential decree was intended to speed up a protracted transition that has been hindered by legal obstacles but Mursi’s rivals condemned him as an autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his vision on Egypt.
“I am for all Egyptians. I will not be biased against any son of Egypt,” Mursi said on a stage outside the presidential palace, adding that he was working for social and economic stability and the rotation of power.
“Opposition in Egypt does not worry me, but it has to be real and strong,” he said.
“God will humiliate those who are attacking our president, Muhammad Mursi,” said cleric Mohammed Abdel-Maksoud. “Whoever insults the sultan, God humiliates him,” he added.
Protesters burned offices of the Brotherhood’s political arm in the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Ismailia and Port Said, east of Cairo.


Lebanese expats in the Middle East cast early ballots for parliamentary elections

Updated 25 min 25 sec ago
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Lebanese expats in the Middle East cast early ballots for parliamentary elections

BEIRUT: Lebanese expats are casting ballots in six Arab countries in the region, ahead of parliamentary elections due in Lebanon on May 6.
The voting abroad marks the first time that expats are allowed to participate in parliamentary elections.
The voting on Friday is being held in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt.
It will be followed by voting Sunday for Lebanese residing in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Africa.
Lebanon’s state-run news agency says the number of registered voters is 82,970.
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil tweeted that he was “very proud” to witness the first expat voting in the history of the Lebanese republic.
Lebanon is to hold its first parliamentary elections in nine years next month after parliament postponed elections several times over security reasons.