Supporters of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi came out in force as their man rejected an army ultimatum ordering a resolution to the country’s political crisis.
Muslim brotherhood members have called on Mursi loyalists to take to the streets “ to back their president”.
Meanwhile an Islamist alliance has condemned the spread of violence by some protesters and warned against attempts to use the army to attack the legitimacy of the elected leader which could lead to a military coup.
In a specially convened new conference a member of the alliance said “The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy confirms the following: firstly, respect for the will of the people and the constitutional legitimacy of the elected president and confirms it is keen on safekeeping peace in the nation and on national reconciliation, which will achieve the nation’s welfare.”
Mursi has told his supporters he intends to push forward with his own plans for a national reconciliation, although some of his offers have already been rejected by the opposition.
“We are protesting peacefully,” said a Muslim Brotherhood member – “ we don’t kill anyone, We don’t trespass on others – this is the difference between us and those who set fire to our headquarters yesterday.”
Mursi supporters appear to be sticking by their leader who was democratically elected one year ago.
Euronews correspondent Mohammed Shaikhibrahim who is in Cairo concluded: “Protect legitimacy and act with restraint is the message of the demonstrators here but they also emphasise that all possibilities remain on on the table depending on what happens on the streets.”