The United States is concerned about Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi taking on broader powers, saying it does not want to see too much authority resting in too few hands. The president’s decree has sparked protests by opposition activists, who continued to camp out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for a fourth day Monday to demand that Morsi reverse his decision.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr Monday to discuss President Morsi’s assumption of broader powers.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Secretary Clinton underscored the importance Washington places on settling these disputes democratically.
Share prices on Egypt’s stock exchange have plunged almost 9.5 per cent, days after President Mohamed Morsi assumed sweeping powers that sparked clashes and polarised the country’s politics.
The main EGX-30 index shed 9.49 per cent by midday (10:00 GMT) on Sunday to reach 4,923.19 points, according to the Egyptian Exchange, with trading suspended for half an hour due to intense investor selling.
The bourse suspended trading for 30 minutes after intense selling by investors, as shares slumped in the first session since the president’s announcement.
But the slide continued as soon as share dealing resumed in the face of the deepening political crisis.
The drop comes as Egyptians have been deeply divided by Morsi’s move to forbid the judiciary from challenging his decisions until a new parliament is elected, with rival rallies sparking violence in several major cities.
The Muslim Brotherhood has called for nationwide protests on Sunday in support of Morsi’s decree, which has put him on a collision course with the judiciary and with many of the political forces that brought down Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in early 2011.