Failed negotiations aimed at settling the issue of President Mohamed Mursi’s claim to not be subjected to judicial review have given way to massive protests in the capital city of Cairo, as well over 100,000 and by some estimates 200,000 demonstrators packed Tahrir Square.
The protests were by and large peaceful but there were some clashes with Egyptian police, and one protester reportedly died of tear-gas inhalation when police fired it into a crowd after some began throwing stones.
Mursi’s edict, which he has downplayed as temporary and only meant to protect the constitutional committee, has struck a nerve coming so soon after a revolution to oust his predecessor Hosni Mubarak for abuse of similar unchecked power. Some protesters are calling this the start of the “next revolution.”
Mursi’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has defended the edict, insisting they will not rescind it. Other officials in the government, however, have hinted that a compromise is possible, though exactly what form it would take is unclear. The judiciary, which has blasted the move, appears content to wait out the president for better terms, as he feels pressure from the growing protest movement.