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Egypt's opposition not seeking to topple Morsi: opposition leader
Xinhua | January 20, 2013 12:37
By Agencies
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The National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt's main opposition coalition, is not seeking to topple President Mohamed Morsi, said its leading member Hamdeen Sabahy.

The legitimacy of Morsi's presidency was still valid though it had been shaken by "his undemocratic exercise of power," Sabahy, who had run against Morsi for president, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

On November 22 last year, Morsi issued a constitutional declaration, stating that his decisions were final and unchallengeable until a new constitution was ratified and a fresh parliamentary election held.

The declaration, which would shield Morsi from judicial review, triggered controversies among political parties and violence in the streets.

The NSF, led by former diplomat and liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, former Arab League chief Amr Moussa and Sabahy, was then formed as a united opposition against Morsi's decree, calling for massive anti-government protests on Jan. 25 to mark the second anniversary of the 2011 "uprising" that toppled the former regime.

Bassam al-Zarqa, political advisor of Morsi, warned that "the constant dissent from opposition groups against the government may lead the country to chaos."

"The Egyptian economy will not stand further instability. We hope that all political forces consider the common interest, not just their partisan or personal interests," said al-Zarqa.

Morsi had urged the opposition to enter a nationwide dialogue which Sabahy dismissed as a "public relations meeting," saying that "there cannot be dialogue between two parties that do not respect each other's opinions."

Sabahy also argued that the policies of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood (MB)are contradictory to the objectives of the January 2011 "uprising," which fought for freedom and social justice, among other goals.

"The political, economic and social ideology of the MB believes in the free open market without guarantees for the poor," he said.

On Saturday, Egypt's Shura Council or upper house of the parliament, approved two revised laws concerning the upcoming parliamentary elections and the exercise of political rights, which will be submitted to the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine their constitutionality.

"The NSF would participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, provided there were political and legal guarantees for free and fair elections," said Sabahy.

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