Morsi's Power Grab Sparks Protests, Fires

Clashes erupt among tens of thousands of demonstrators

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 23, 2012 9:44 AM CST

(Newser) – At least 16 people have been hurt as tens of thousands protest Mohamed Morsi's assumption of new powers in Egypt. Responding to the Egyptian leader's self-proclaimed immunity to judicial review, demonstrations broke out in Cairo and across the country, Bloomberg reports; protesters set fire to Muslim Brotherhood political offices in several cities, AFP notes. Clashes occurred near the Interior Ministry and between protesting factions in Alexandria. As in protests against Hosni Mubarak, people chanted, "The people want the regime down," and "No to a new dictator."

Morsi has "usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh," tweeted Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who reportedly called for protests. The UN's human rights commission cited fears "about the possible huge ramifications of this declaration for human rights and the rule of law." Morsi today said his new powers were intended to achieve stability. But a judge predicts "an intense clash between the judiciary and the presidency unlike any we’ve seen in the past."

Supporters of Mohamed Morsi chant slogans and wave his campaign posters outside the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.
Supporters of Mohamed Morsi chant slogans and wave his campaign posters outside the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa)
Protesters hurl stones during clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.
Protesters hurl stones during clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.   (AP Photo/Tarek Fawzy)
Protesters storm an office of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice party and set fires in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.
Protesters storm an office of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice party and set fires in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.   (AP Photo/Amira Mortada, El Shorouk Newspaper)
Egyptian protesters opposed to Mohamed Morsi try to breach a building used by Morsi supporters during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.
Egyptian protesters opposed to Mohamed Morsi try to breach a building used by Morsi supporters during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Asad)
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