Cairo: Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi today tried to reach out to a concerned citizenry, insisting that the sweeping powers he had assumed were temporary and aimed at ensuring a smooth transition to an elected parliament, as mounting unrest claimed the life of a Brotherhood member.
In a statement issued today, Mursi's office also promised that his government would include opposition members in the dialogue over drafting a new constitution.
The insistence over the temporary nature of his powers came for a second time in two days as tensions flared across the country, with clashes reported between his supporters and opponents and several offices of the Muslim brotherhood's party attacked.
"The presidency reiterates the temporary nature of the said measures, which are not meant to concentrate powers, but on the contrary to devolve it to democratically elected parliament and to avoid any attempt to undermine or abort two democratically elected bodies (the upper house of parliament and the Constituent Assembly), as well as preserving the impartiality of the judiciary and to void politicising it," the statement read.
The statement said there is a need to hold accountable those responsible of corruption under the former regime and during the transitional period, as well as to attain the rights of the revolution's martyrs, which can only be accomplished by the declaration.
It also sought to assure the country's political forces will all be included in a national dialogue to reach consensus over the constitution.
Angered by Thursday's presidential decree, Mursi's opponents have termed him Egypt's 'new pharaoh' and charged him of orchestrating a 'coup'. But Mursi has vehemently denied that the measures would drift the country away from the path of democracy.
Fierce clashes were reported between Brotherhood supporters and opponents in several places today, with one in Damanhour city claiming the life of a young Brotherhood member.