Unrest in Egypt

Egypt Opposition Leader: No Dialogue With Morsi Until Rescinds 'Dictatorial' Powers

Comments by former IAEA head ElBaradei come as body representing Egypt's judges calls for immediate strike in protest of decree giving president sweeping powers.

Prominent opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei said on Saturday there could be no dialogue with Egypt's president until he rescinds a "dictatorial" decree that he said gave the Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi the powers of a pharaoh.

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"There is no room for dialogue when a dictator imposes the most oppressive, abhorrent measures and then says 'let us split the difference'," ElBaradei said in an interview with Reuters and the Associated Press after talks with other opposition figures.

"I am waiting to see, I hope soon, a very strong statement of condemnation by the U.S., by Europe and by everybody who really cares about human dignity," he said.

Meanwhile, Morsi held a special session with some of his advisors, despite the fact that some of them have already resigned, such as Coptic aide Samir Morcos, who advised the president on the advancement of democracy.

Following fears that the current crisis in Egypt could spiral out of control, cultural figures as well as leaders of the country's independent parties announced an emergency session to begin on Saturday, geared at finding a way out of the standstill.

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According to a statement published earlier in the day, the meeting's organizers also invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist factions, adding that they hoped that the session would present Morsi with a proposal to end unrest within a few days.

Meanwhile, two former presidential candidates Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabhi announced the formation of a coordination committee, one which would also include ElBaradei, geared at monitoring protest activities.

Also on Saturday, the body representing Egypt's judges called for an immediate strike in all courts and prosecutors' offices in protest against Morsi's decree expanding his powers.

At a meeting in Cairo, the Judges Club called on Morsi to retract the decree and to reinstate Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, the Hosni Mubarak-era prosecutor general who was sacked as part of the decision unveiled on Thursday.

The call to strike came after, earlier in the day, judges in the Egyptian city of Alexandria judges decided to go on strike in protest at a decree issued Morsi which shields his decisions from judicial review, the state news agency reported.

The judges' club in Alexandria said work would be suspended in all courts and prosecution offices until the decree was reversed, the agency reported.

The statement came as Egypt's highest judicial authority said the d marked an "unprecedented attack" on the independence of the judiciary.

At an emergency meeting called to discuss the decree issued by Morsi on Thursday, the Supreme Judicial Council urged "the president of the republic to distance this decree from everything that violates the judicial authority."

Political parties angered by Morsi's decision have called on their supporters to protest against the move on Tuesday in Cairo.

Leftist, liberal, socialist parties and others have said their followers should march to Tahrir Square with the aim of "toppling the fascist, despotic constitutional declaration" issued by Morsi on Thursday, according to a statement from one of the parties.

"We are facing a historic moment in which we either complete our revolution or we abandon it to become prey for a group that has put its narrow party interests above the national interest," said the statement, issued by the liberal Dustour Party on its Facebook page late on Friday.