Egypt opposition calls for protests on revolt anniversary

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's opposition has called for demonstrations across the country on Friday, the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, to protest against mounting "mistakes" by the ruling Islamists.

The National Salvation Front (NSF), the country's main opposition bloc which groups liberals and leftists, called for "rallies in all the Tahrir Squares of the country on Friday".

The NSF said "the accumulation of the mistakes and the incompetence of the Brotherhood regime has led to the deterioration of the economy and increased the suffering of millions of our people".

The NSF, which has led the opposition against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, is demanding "a constitution for all Egyptians, justice for martyrs of the revolution, the prevention of a Brotherhood (takeover) of the state.... as well as achieving real economic development and the principles of citizenship". It said that under Mr Morsi, security has worsened and freedoms have declined.

Sixteen parties and movements have said they will take part in nationwide demonstrations on Friday.

A controversial new constitution, voted for by Egyptians in a December referendum, became the focus of Egypt's worst political crisis since Mr Morsi came to power in June last year.

Human rights activists and opposition groups said the new charter, drafted by an Islamist-leaning panel close to the president, potentially curtailed freedom of expression and basic rights for minorities.

Mr Morsi's critics also accuse him of trying to stamp out criticism in an often hostile media as the country faces a dire economy and a secular-leaning opposition prepares for parliamentary elections in two months.

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