Egypt's interim Prez vows fresh polls, 51 killed in clashes

Egypt's interim Prez vows fresh polls, 51 killed in clashes

Egypt's interim President unveiled a roadmap for fresh polls by early next year to end the raging political turmoil in the country, as angry Islamists today staged rallies after clashes between loyalists of deposed leader Mohammed Morsi and soldiers killed 51 people.

Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour issued a constitutional declaration late last night giving himself limited power to make laws, and outlined the timetable for parliamentary and presidential elections, according to state media.

Mansour issued the anticipated declaration that will remain effective until the end of the ongoing transitional period, which will last for at least six months, according to the decree.

The whole process will take no more than 210 days, according to the decree, meaning elections will be by February at the latest.

The declaration came after clashes between Morsi's supporters and security forces killed 51 people yesterday, and wounded another 435. It was the deadliest day in Cairo since the revolution that forced former President Hosni Mubarak from office in 2011.

The clash took place outside the Republican Guard headquarters, where 61-year-old toppled president is said to have been put "under guard". The army, in a statement, said, "an armed terrorist group tried to storm" the Republican Guard compound and soldiers retaliated by firing.

Muslim Brotherhood, which has led demonstrations against last week's military overthrow of Morsi, called for an "uprising" and accused troops and police of "massacring" its supporters.

Senior officials in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood rejected the timetable for new elections laid out by interim president.

Leading Brotherhood figure Essam al-Erian said, "A constitutional decree by a man appointed by putchists... brings the country back to square one." Ahmad Abu-Barakah, a legal adviser to the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said the decree was "invalid and illegitimate", the Al-Misri al-Yawm reported.

Other Islamists parties opposed to Morsi's ouster also rejected the decree.
The Jama'a al-Islamiya and its Construction and Development Party rejected the transitional constitution issued by Mansour. In a statement on its website, the group rejected the Constitution "issued by an illegitimate president."

The Muslim Brotherhood said its members were fired on at a sit-in for ousted President Morsi. Morsi, an Islamist and Egypt's first freely elected leader, was removed from office by the army last week after mass protests.

His supporters accuse the military of staging a coup, but his opponents said the move was the continuation of the revolution that deposed President Mubarak.
The conservative Islamist Al-Nur party, which had backed the army's overthrow of Morsi, in response to the "massacre" said it was pulling out of talks on a new government.

The declaration, issued by Mansour consisted of 33 articles. It will be automatically cancelled should an amended version of the suspended constitution is voted for by the public, Ahram online reported.

According to the temporary charter, the president holds legislative authorities along with the cabinet that shall have a mandatory consultative role.

Legislative authority will be transferred to the parliament's lower chamber, the House of Representatives that was yet to be elected.

Moreover, the constitutional declaration stipulates that the president is to form within 15 days a committee to amend the frozen 2012 constitution. The committee is given a month-long period to wrap up the amendments.

Members of the committee will be chosen by the respective judicial bodies, the constitutional declaration stipulated, while Egypt's Supreme Council of Universities is to assign the constitutional law professors.

The committee tasked with amending the 2012 constitution shall refer the amendments to another committee formed of 50 members, who shall represent all layers of society, the declarations said.

The president is to later put the amended version of the constitution to a national referendum within 30 days from receiving the final draft. It will be effective upon public approval.

The 2012 constitution was suspended as part of the Egyptian armed forces' roadmap for Egypt's future, which saw former president Morsi ousted following mass protests.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, appointed by former President Mubarak, announced he has submitted a request to the Supreme Judicial Council today, officially declining to continue work in his position.

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