EU concerned by Egyptian political woes

Dec. 4, 2012 at 2:07 PM

BRUSSELS, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- European Parliament members said they had growing concerns about the political rifts in post-revolutionary Egypt.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was criticized for issuing a decree last month that gave him sweeping powers. His supporters said the decree was a temporary order meant to facilitate constitutional developments.

Andrey Kovatchev, a Belgian member of the European Parliament, said officials in Brussels were concerned by Morsi's new powers.

"This is a critical moment, when all political parties and entities should be discussing the issues and working together," said Kovatchev, who serves as vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Morsi met Tuesday with Prime Minister Hesham Kandil and other top Cabinet officials to review plans for a public referendum on the constitution next week, reports the Egyptian Independent news agency.

Revolutionary groups have said they'd continue demonstrations throughout the week to protest Morsi's government. In June, he became the first president elected by a democratic vote in Egyptian history.

Since last year's revolution, some political parties and movements have expressed concern about the direction of a country influenced heavily by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement from which Morsi hails.

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