President Muhammad Morsi is starting to look a little too similar to his strongman predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. But he may have already crossed the point of no return:
The general unwillingness of many of the police and army to intervene actively in favor of President Morsi appears to have put a fright into him and his administration. After earlier being completely inflexible in the face of the protests, they are now hinting that the referendum on the constitution could be postponed past the December 15 date initially designated by Morsi.
There was also a big demonstration in Alexandria, where crowds chanted, “The people want the execution of the president.”
Muslim Brotherhood supporters of the president attempted to avoid clashes of the sort that broke out Wednesday, demonstrating in their tens of thousands in the old Islamic quarter in front of the al-Azhar Seminary or at the Rabiah al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City not so far from the presidential palace.
The liberal political leaders of the National Salvation Front coalition, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Elbaradei and the former secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, rejected Morsi’s call for a dialogue meeting on Saturday. They insisted that Morsi first rescind his decree of Nov. 22 in which he put himself above judicial review.