Egypt: Second round of “Arab spring”?

Egypt: Second round of “Arab spring”?

Clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo have already resulted in a number of victims. The opposition’s leaders have already accused the authorities of using force against a peaceful demonstration.

It looks like Egypt is now entering the second phase of the so-called “Arab spring”.

The West’s hopes that after the forced retirement of Egypt’s former president, Hosni Mubarak, the situation in Egypt would stabilize, unfortunately, have not come true.

The ousting of Mubarak didn’t solve any old problems – it only created new ones. One of these new problems is the strengthening of Islamists’ position in Egypt. The country’s new president, Mohammed Morsi, is himself a member of the moderate Islamist party “Moslem Brothers”.

Initially, the US authorities accessed Mr. Morsi’s advent quite positively – but now, they seem to have started having doubts about whether they were right.

Moslem Brotherhood HQ set ablaze

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi says the constitutional declaration will be canceled right after a public referendum on a draft constitution, regardless of the outcome.

In a live televised address to the nation on Thursday Morsi urged all of the country’s political forces to start on Saturday a comprehensive dialogue “to end divisions and confrontation.”

Morsi's address followed violent clashes outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Wednesday between his opponents and supporters which, according to the latest reports, left seven people dead and hundreds injured.

Shortly after Thursday’s address dozens of opposition activists stormed the Moslem Brotherhood’s headquarters, putting the building on fire. The police use tear gas to break up the protesters, who are responding with stones and Molotov cocktails.

The opposition accused President Morsi of ignoring all their demands and refusing to add any changes to or annul the constitutional declaration altogether.

Egypt army sets up barricades at Cairo presidential palace

The Egyptian army has set up barricades outside the presidential palace, after ordering protesters to leave the area.

It follows violent overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi that left five people dead and 644 injured.

Most protesters left the palace by the 15:00 (13:00 GMT) deadline, though some opposition activists remained.

Meanwhile, Egypt's top Islamic body has called on the president to suspend his decree claiming sweeping powers.

The Al-Azhar institution also demanded an unconditional dialogue between the president and his opponents.

Mr Morsi is expected to address the nation on Thursday evening, although his statement appears to have been delayed.

Egypt’s opposition heads to Morsi palace

Three columns comprising hundreds of anti-Morsi activists each are now heading to Egypt’s presidential palace where clashes erupted between supporters and opponents of president Mohamed Morsi over his assumption of extensive powers.

Meanwhile, the family of Egypt’s President Morsi have been evacuated from their home in the Al Sharqia Governorate over violent clashes reported in the area.