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Egyptian PM warns violent protesters in tense countdown to June 30

Hisham Qandil warned that no one was above the law.  Egypt state TVHisham Qandil warned that no one was above the law. Egypt state TV
 
Ahead of opposition protests planned for June 30, marking Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi’s first anniversary in power, the country’s prime minister said late Friday he was concerned by mounting calls for violence.
 
Hisham Qandil, speaking in a midnight television program on state TV, warned that no one was above the law, while saying that peaceful protests would be protected.
His comments came after the Muslim Brotherhood staged a rally in Cairo to show its strength behind Mursi.
 
Mursi and the Brotherhood have turned their organizational prowess into electoral success since the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, but a diverse opposition coalition now hopes to force Mursi to resign by demonstrating en masse on the first anniversary of his inauguration on June 30.
 
“What we hear in terms of calls for violence here and there worries me a lot,” Qandil said, as quoted by Reuters news agency. “We are preparing for June 30 in terms of security and by raising awareness among the people so they commit to peaceful demonstrations.
 
“Since the revolution, the only way to deal with peaceful protesters is to protect them.”
 
But Qandil made clear that the Islamists will not give in to the power of the street, insisting on the democratic legitimacy of the administration: “Real change comes through the polling station,” Qandil said.

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