Sharp Divide over Morsi's Presidential Decree Turns into Violence

2012-11-26 11:20:09    xinhua    Web Editor: cuichaoqun

Bitter divisions over a series of President Mohamed Morsi's controversial decrees turned into bloodshed Sunday as fierce clashes between Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members and their opponents left one MB member killed and 60 others injured.

The clashes first broke out on Saturday evening, injuring 26, and renewed Sunday evening outside the MB office in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour, during which a 15-year-old named Islam Fathi Masoud was killed.

As an MB stronghold, Damanhour has witnessed repeated clashes between MB members and protesters, during which stones were hurled and Molotov cocktails used.

Egypt has seen a nationwide protest against the MB and President Mohamed Morsi, who issued a new constitutional declaration Thursday ruling that all laws, decrees and constitutional declarations issued by the president since he came into office on June 30 are final and unchallengeable by anybody.

As for the Constitutional Assembly, the declaration noted that the new draft constitution will be formed within a maximum period of eight months, instead of six, from the date of the assembly's formation, which means the new declaration extends the period of drafting for another two months, until February 2013.

Meanwhile, no judicial body is entitled to dissolve the Shura Council (upper house) or the Constituent Assembly, the declaration stated.

The president's office issued a statement late Sunday defending Morsi's decrees and emphasizing the "temporary nature" of the new measures.

The decrees were "not meant to concentrate powers," said the statement, which also pledged Morsi's commitment to engaging all political forces on the drafting of a new constitution.

Egyptian Bourse drastically decreased on Sunday, losing almost 4.8 billion U.S. dollars, as investors further lose confidence in the country's stability.

At the closing of trading, the EGX 30 benchmark index plunged by 10 percent to close at 4,917.73 points.