Baradei Tweet Slams 'Coup against Democracy'

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Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday slammed President Mohamed Morsi and an Islamist-dominated panel that approved a new draft constitution, in a message on his Twitter account.

"The president and his constituent assembly are currently staging a coup against democracy. Regime legitimacy fast eroding," he wrote.

The draft charter, approved by the constitutional assembly after a marathon overnight session boycotted by liberals and Christians, raises serious human rights concerns including over religious freedom, according to activists.

Tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated in Cairo on Friday in marches that began just hours after the new draft was adopted.

"Down with the constitutional assembly," vast crowds armed with megaphones chanted as they filed into Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

Several prominent opposition figures attended the protests, including ElBaradei and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa.

The constitution has taken center stage in the country's worst political crisis since Morsi's election in June, squaring largely Islamist forces against liberal opposition groups.

Human rights activists have lambasted the charter, saying it raises serious concerns over religious freedom and women's rights.

The current crisis was sparked by a decree which the Islamist president issued on November 22 giving himself sweeping powers and placing his decisions beyond judicial review.

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