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10 Jul, 2013 00:13

Egypt's top political groups bash new constitutional decree

Egypt's top political groups bash new constitutional decree

The Egyptian Tamarod campaign, which launched the rebellion against ousted President Mohammed Morsi, has rejected the country’s interim charter. The move has been echoed by the National Salvation Front (NSF), the country’s top liberal coalition.

A Tuesday post on Tamarod’s Twitter page stated that “it is impossible to accept the [constitutional declaration] because it founds a new dictatorship. We will hand over to the [military-installed caretaker] president an amendment to the declaration.”

The NSF also demanded more consultation on the document, which they deem absolutely crucial to Egypt’s political transition. "The National Salvation Front announces its rejection of the constitutional decree," the group wrote in a statement.

One of the group’s top leaders former IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei, has been recently named the interim deputy president for foreign affairs.

Two of Egypt’s top Islamist movements, along with a number of youth activists and independent politicians, have similarly rejected the decree. Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, said the plan would bring Egypt back to “square one.”

On Monday, interim president Adly Mansour adopted the constitutional charter which outlines the details and timeframe for the formation of a temporary government, as well as parliamentary and presidential elections. The 33-article document retains some elements of the previous Islamist-backed constitution – something that has attracted criticism from liberals and Christians in Egypt.

The constitutional document also grants Mansour the power to issue new laws in consultation with the temporary government. The declaration comes barely a week after Morsi’s overthrow, which followed a fierce escalation of violence on the streets of Cairo.

Tamarod, which is a grassroots protest movement, was one of the key players taking part in military-sponsored talks aimed at working out the details of Egypt’s transition. The movement is afraid the new decree puts too much power in Mansour’s hands and calls it a “setback for the revolution.”

Member of the "Tamarod - Rebel!" petition drive against Mursi, gestures with an Egyptian flag in front of army soldiers standing guard in front of protesters who are against Egyptian President Mursi, near the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo (Reuters / Amr Dalsh)

 A senior adviser to the Muslim Brotherhood, Jihad Haddad, told RT that the group's members are ready to put their lives on the line, in their stand against the military.

“If our blood is the price that is needed for this country’s conscience to wake up or for the rest of the world’s conscience to wake up, we would be gladly giving it,” he said.

He however claimed that the movement will resort only to peaceful means. “If we become the punching bag – well, that’s something we have to deal with.”

Meanwhile Amr Rarouq al-Maki from another Islamist faction in Egypt, Al Nour Party, has warned that the crisis could escalate into civil war - if dialogue doesn't take place.

That might head to a [civil] war and we think that without a national dialogue with all the parties, even the Freedom and Justice and all the Islamists that will end with a [civil] war and will not end soon. That’s why we are saying the sooner the better,” he told RT.