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Africa

Pro-Morsi protesters stage counter rally in Cairo

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-01

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters rallied in Cairo on Saturday in support of President Mohammed Morsi as he prepared to review the country’s controversial new draft constitution.

Hundreds of thousands of Islamists rallied on Saturday in support of President Mohamed Morsi's new expanded powers and the drafting of a contested charter, highlighting Egypt's widening polarisation.

The demonstration in the heart of Cairo comes a day after crowds thronged to Tahrir Square to protest against the president's decree and the speedy adoption of the draft constitution.

The charter has taken centre stage in the country's worst political crisis since Morsi's election in June, squaring largely Islamist forces against secular-leaning opponents.

It is expected to go to a popular referendum within two weeks.

Members of the constituent assembly were due later on Saturday to hand Morsi the final draft of the constitution adopted after a marathon overnight session on Thursday that was boycotted by liberals, secularists and Christians.

"SOME PARTICIPANTS WALKED TO CAIRO TO ATTEND"

Hundreds of thousands flooded the squares and large avenues near Cairo University, led by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, on whose ticket Morsi ran for office, and by hardline Salafists, causing traffic jams in the capital.

"We want this phase to end. We want a constitution. If people don't like the constitution, let them say so through the ballot boxes," one protester said.

Others chanted: "The people want the implementation of God's law."

"We are here to support the decisions of Dr Mohamed Morsi; we support him because those decisions were a part of the revolutionary demands," said Hend Abdellateef.

Veiled women ullulated among the crowd, sprinkled with Egyptian and Saudi flags and posters of Morsi, with banners reading: "Together (with Morsi) to save the revolution".

"There are people who want instability," said Khaled, one of the demonstrators, referring to anti-Morsi protesters. "There needs to be a constitution for there to be stability."

Pro-Morsi protests were also staged in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the central Egyptian province of Assiut.

In Cairo, one demonstrator died and 24 others were injured when a tree fell near the main stage near the university.

The Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters have branded the opposition enemies of the revolution that toppled longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-12-01

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