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Egyptian democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei warned Saturday of increasing turmoil that could lead to military intervention unless Mr. Morsi rescinds his new powers, as the country’s long-fragmented opposition sought to unite and rally protests. Last week, Mr. ElBaradei accused Mr. Morsi of making himself a “new pharaoh” with his power grab.

Mr. Morsi’s office Sunday issued an English-language statement defending his decrees, repeating the argument he used when addressing supporters Friday outside his Cairo palace that the measures were designed to bolster the country’s transition to democratic rule and dismantle the Mubarak regime.

“The presidency reiterates the temporary nature of the said measures, which are not meant to concentrate powers,” it stated.

Egypt’s benchmark stock index plunged by nearly 10 percent Sunday in the first trading session since Mr. Morsi’s edicts.

The losses, estimated to be about $5 billion, were among the biggest since the turbulent days and weeks immediately after Mr. Mubarak’s ouster.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.