The opposition criticized the speech, insisting on their demand that he steps down and new elections be held. Massive protests are planned for 30 June, the exact anniversary of President Mursi’s election. While neither Mr Mursi nor the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to yield to this demand, there are fears that the result may be a standoff which could lead to violence and even the intervention of the army.

Egypt’s transition since the “Arab Spring” has been less violent than in Syria and neighboring Libya, largely because the army supported political reform and refused to attack the demonstrators, and the military has so far adopted the same “hands-off” policy under the new regime. (CONTINUED - 855 WORDS)