News / Middle East

Egypt's Morsi Grants Himself Sweeping Powers

In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, President Mohamed Morsi, right, poses for a photograph with his new Prosecutor General, Talaat Abdullah, left, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012.
In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, President Mohamed Morsi, right, poses for a photograph with his new Prosecutor General, Talaat Abdullah, left, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012.
VOA News

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has caused controversy by putting himself above oversight and protecting Islamist lawmakers who support him.

President Morsi Thursday declared that his decisions cannot be appealed by the courts or any other authority, citing a need to "protect the revolution."

The decree announced by his spokesman also bars Egypt's judiciary from dissolving the upper house of parliament and an assembly drafting a new constitution - two bodies dominated by Morsi's Islamist allies.

In addition, he ordered retrials of former officials who used violence in efforts to suppress last year's popular revolution against longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi's supporters hailed the decision, saying it was long overdue.  But the opposition called the move illegal and is planning a protest Friday.  The president's action comes after he received international praise for mediating a Gaza cease-fire.

Nobel laureate Mohamed AlBaradei said Morsi has usurped all state powers, warning that there could be dire consequences.  The liberal politician is a leading opposition figure in Egypt and a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Egyptian courts have been examining cases demanding the dissolution of both assemblies.  But Morsi's decree effectively neutralizes the judiciary system in favor of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
 
The announced retrials for those suspected of involvement in the killings of protesters during the 2011 uprising, could include a retrial of former president Hosni Mubarak.  The ousted leader was sentenced to life in prison in June for failing to stop the killings.  But, he avoided convictions on more serious offenses of corruption and ordering the deadly crackdown, angering many Egyptians.

Other Mubarak-era officials and security personnel also have been acquitted on charges of killing protesters, prompting critics to accuse the top government prosecutor of mishandling the cases.  In his decree Thursday, Morsi fired that prosecutor, Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud, a Mubarak appointee who had been in the post for many years.  The decree retroactively limited Mahmoud's term to four years, bringing it to an immediate end.

President Morsi had tried to fire Mahmoud last month but was blocked by the courts.  He named Talat Abdullah as the government's new general prosecutor.
 

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by: Anonymous
November 23, 2012 12:30 AM
Egypt is fast becoming a Farce... just like Iran... no police, no justice, no Army, no sanitation, no water, no electricity, no money, only Muslim Brotherhood with hate for US/Israel... and everyone is buying guns... everyone!! soon we will make Syria look peaceful in comparison... you will see...

by: ali baba from: new york
November 22, 2012 11:02 PM
step by step Egypt will be an islamic state .no law will be used..Only law of mentally ill r eligious fanatic. the nightmare of liberal and christain .since obama downplay the dangerous of islamist.,islamist find this a best time to dominate the country and the nightmare for christain will the tragdy of 21 century.thanks for the republican whom they are in disarry and let obama back in power. so the islamist go again in testing hypthoties .they try with isreal and they falied. now other testing by morsy. please obama give moresy another one hundered billion so he can kill every christain with the bessing of god.do not worry about us budget. the 72 virigin will come from heaven and pay all the debt

by: Khmerkrom from: Kampucheakrom
November 22, 2012 10:52 PM
Everything is the same for brute people when no power in hand, they talk very consciously and highly to uphold the democracy and human rights but when got in power become like this Guy soon to be a new-style dictator after Arab Spring.

by: Crystal from: Ohio
November 22, 2012 10:06 PM
President Morsi is doing what Hitler did...only he thinks he will do better and it will end with President Morsi in complete power...Hitler thought the same thing. Morsi thinks he will surpass the ledership and greatness of Hitler.....

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