2 pro-Morsi parties reject protests outside judges' homes

CAIRO – Two parties within the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, ousted president Mohamed Morsi's main support bloc, rejected on Thursday the alliance's calls to stage protests outside the homes of judges and police officers to mark the first anniversary of Morsi's ouster.

"We reject calls to besiege the homes of judges and policemen," the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, a member of the pro-Morsi alliance, said.  

"The party reiterates its support for exclusively peaceful protest and rejects any deviation from this path," the party added in a statement.

The Wasat Party, leading members of which – Abul-Ela Madi and Essam Sultan – are in jail, said it supported peaceful protest against what it described as the "militarization" of the Egyptian state and restrictions on civil liberties.

Morsi was ousted on July 3 of last year by the Egyptian army following mass opposition protests. His supporters call his forcible removal from office a "military coup," while his detractors call it a "popular uprising."

The pro-Morsi National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, which consists of several Islamist parties, has called for marking the first anniversary of his ouster with mass protests and rallies outside the homes of judges and policemen.

These calls have led to ramped-up security on the nation's streets and public squares, including Cairo's Tahrir Square, which was closed off completely to pedestrians and vehicles.

The Construction and Development Party, the political arm of the Gamaa Islamiya, likewise rejected alliance calls to stage rallies outside the homes of judges and police officers.

"We totally reject calls to besiege the homes of government officials or political opponents," the party said. "These calls entail a violation of Islamic principles."

An alliance source, meanwhile, attributed the two parties' rejection of calls to demonstrate outside the homes of judges and police officers to pressure by security agencies.

The authorities have recently arrested several alliance leaders, including Magdi Ahmed Hussein, head of the Islamist Independence Party, and Magdi Qurqur, party secretary-general and spokesman for the pro-Morsi alliance.

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