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Cairo - Egyptian Islamist parties, including the president's, on Wednesday called for a “million-man march” on June 21 to counter a planned protest at the end of the month outside the presidential palace.
“Islamist parties have decided to organise a 'million-man march' in front of Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque (in a Cairo suburb) on Friday, June 21, under the slogan: 'Protect the revolution. Yes to peace, no to violence',” said President Mohamed Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, on its website.
An opposition-backed campaign dubbed Tamarrod, Arabic for rebellion, has called for an anti-Morsi demonstration outside the palace on June 30, the first anniversary of his election.
It says it has gathered millions of signatures to a petition demanding that Morsi step down to pave the way for an early presidential election.
In a newspaper interview published last week, Morsi himself dismissed the call for an early election as “absurd and illegitimate”, and in violation of the constitution.
His opponents accuse him of governing in the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, on whose ticket he stood for president, and of reneging on his promise to rule in the interests of all Egyptians.
Morsi's first year in office has been marred by sometimes deadly clashes between his supporters and opponents that have stoked political tensions. - Sapa-AFP