March, strike planned in restful Egypt


Published Dec 4, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

CAIRO — Egypt’s political crisis is widening, with plans for a huge march and a general strike today to protest the hurried drafting of a new constitution and decrees by President Mohammed Morsi that gave him nearly unrestricted powers.

Morsi also faces the prospect of wider civil disobedience as media, the tourism industry and law professors pondered moves that would build on a strike by the nation’s judges.

The planned strikes and march raise new fears of unrest, threatening to derail the country’s transition to democratic rule.

“Egypt is a big ship in high seas, and no one should stop its captain from taking it to the shore,” said Morsi’s legal adviser, Mohammed Gaballah, defending his boss.

“The ship must keep moving under any conditions,” he told The Associated Press on Monday.

The country’s judges have already gone on strike over Morsi’s Nov. 22 decrees that placed him above oversight of any kind, including the courts. Following those decrees, a panel dominated by the president’s Islamist supporters rushed through a draft constitution without the participation of representatives of liberals and Christians. Only four women, all Islamists, attended the marathon, all-night session.