“The Muslim Brotherhood supports peaceful protests that call for the solution of crises and resolving the deteriorating conditions which the Egyptian people suffer,” the Muslim Brotherhood says in a statement on its website.

“Since the Executive Authority has turned a blind eye to all the calls for reform, the Muslim Brotherhood declares its endorsement of the call to stay home next May 4, with the exception of those working in medical and public service institutions, and those who have exams in any educational institution.”

Anti-government sentiment is thought to have grown in recent months as a result of soaring food prices and a continuing clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood had not lent active support to a previous strike organised by other opposition groups on 6 April. The strike fell short of expectations after the government threatened tough action against protesters.