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Mass resignations in protest at palace clashes - Daily News Egypt

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Mass resignations in protest at palace clashes

Presidential advisers resign due to violence while judges and diplomats refuse to cooperate with referendum plans

Clashes erupted between Morsy supporters and anti-Morsy protesters on Wednesday (Photo by Ahmed ElMalky/DNE)

Five presidential advisers and the head of Egypt’s TV sector resigned on Thursday amid escalating clashes in front of the Presidential Palace, which have left at least five dead and hundreds injured.

Ayman Al-Sayyad, Amr Al-Leithy, Mohamed Essmat, Saif Abdel-Fatah and Rafiq Habib have submitted their resignations in the wake of the violence. They said they had proposed a number of initiatives to solve the current constitutional crisis.

Four ex-advisers submitted their resignation to the President 10 days ago, but did not announce it publicly. “We were all waiting for another chance to achieve our goal, which is to prevent Wednesday’s bloody clashes. But today, I can say that we have failed in what we aimed for,” Al-Sayyad told Daily News Egypt.

He added that they agreed to publicly announce their resignation “when the situation reached its peak on Wednesday evening.”

Thousands of pro-Morsy demonstrators went to the Presidential Palace on Wednesday to announce their support for the constitutional declaration. They clashed with non-Islamist forces that had started protesting on Tuesday.

Al-Sayyad said the ex-advisers, who are politically independent, would continue to offer solutions for the crisis, without being attached to the presidency. “We had to resign to prove our point against the constitutional declaration. The news here is not our resignation, it is the news of ending this revolution,” he said.

Mohamed Essmat, another presidential adviser, agreed. “I resigned because I can see our children killing each other in the streets,” he said. “Unfortunately all the efforts exerted went in vain and more polarisation was seen within political forces,” Essmat said.

He said that the current crisis is not that of a constitutional declaration or the upcoming public referendum on the constitution, it is rather a “crisis of tolerance and acceptance.”

A day after Morsy announced his presidential decrees, Coptic presidential assistant Samir Morcos, as well as two other presidential advisers, Sekina Fouad and Farouk Gowieda, quit in protest.

The recent resignations bring the total number of departures from Morsy’s advisory board to nine.

Al-Sayyad believes that probably Vice-President Mahmoud Mekky is the only opponent to the constitutional declaration in the current presidential team.

Presidential Adviser and Vice-President of the Muslim Brotherhood’s (FJP) Rafiq Habib announced his resignation on his Facebook account. He said, “I have decided to give up any current or future political role in the presidency and FJP.”

On another note, Head of Egypt’s TV sector Essam Al-Amir, head of state TV and radio buildings, has also submitted his resignation to Minister of Media Salah Abdel Maqsoud on Thursday. “I resigned in protest at the general administration of this regime. It is not only about the Egyptian state media. The entire political situation has pushed me to quit,” Al-Amir said.

He said Egypt’s state TV has been recently receiving requests from the authorities to remain “objective by presenting the other viewpoint of the government.” “It was a way through which they wanted us to show more of the governmental perspectives in the programs,” he said, stressing that the escalating clashes in front of the palace is the primary reason for his resignation.

Zaghloul Al-Balshy, secretary general of the high elections committee and assistant to the Justice Minister, said he will not participate in monitoring the upcoming public referendum on the constitution, according to state news agency MENA. He was not available to comment more on the subject.

Meanwhile, about 200 Egyptian diplomats have also announced their refusal to participate in the referendum.

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