Huge protests took place in Cairo on Friday as demonstrators gathered in protest of Mohamed Mursi, the country’s president, over a decree he made that broadened his powers and put them above the law. The biggest protests in Cairo were concentrated in and around Tahrir Square, the same area where last year’s Arab spring uprising took place when Hosni Mubarak was ousted as president.
Among other issues, the crowds on Friday were protesting against what they said was a growing influence throughout the country of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the decree made by President Mursi to broaden his powers. Friday was the fifth consecutive day that police skirmished with protesters near the Interior Ministry building.
A coalition formed between political and civil society organizations said they would take part in the protests. In other cities around the country, protests were planned for Friday and the weekend as well.
Protesters in the square were yelling they wanted the regime of Mursi to be torn down and shouted similar slogans they used during the Mubarak protests. Banners could be seen that said Mursi was the new Pharaoh and he was a dictator. The protesters also demanded that the President dismiss his cabinet and make changes to the police.
Mursi announced Thursday that all decisions he made were above judicial review. He also ordered that all officials during the Mubarak regime be retried, he fired the head prosecutor as well as blocking any challenges to the group that is writing the country’s new constitution. Secular and Christian groups have complained that the group is made up mainly of Islamists.