Nine Morsi administration officials have quit their jobs since the president issued a decree on Nov. 22 giving himself unprecedented powers.
On Thursday, the vice-president of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Rafik Habib, said he was retiring from political life. Habib is a Christian, and he served as a token of the Brotherhood’s openness and diversity.
The head of Egypt’s state TV, Essam El-Amir, quit in protest over what he called Morsi’s mismanagement and dividing of the country. The secretary-general of the commission that is supposed to oversee the referendum over Egypt’s new constitution on Dec. 15 also quit, saying that he “will not participate in a referendum that has spilled Egyptian blood.”
And in what must be most embarrassing for an Islamist president, Al Azhar, the highest Sunni religious authority in Egypt called on Morsi on Thursday to suspend the decree and enter into real dialogue with the opposition.
Kemal Helbawy didn’t wait for Morsi’s decree to resign from the Muslim Brotherhood.
A former member of the Brotherhood’s guidance bureau, and its spokesperson in the 1990s, Mr. Helbawy joined the movement at age 12. He spent 23 years in exile in the UK until the fall of Mubarak. In March, he spectacularly resigned while live on a TV talkshow, on the same day the Brotherhood announced that it was running Khairat El Shater for president.