News / Africa

Egypt's Top Judges Resist Morsi Decrees

Egyptian protesters gather outside the country's high court in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 24, 2012.
Egyptian protesters gather outside the country's high court in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 24, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
Egypt's judiciary has joined the growing opposition to a recent set of decrees by President Mohamed Morsi, which have provoked public outrage. And judges in Alexandria have announced they will go on strike to protest the decrees. 

Egypt's highest judicial body, the Supreme Judicial Council, is condemning the decrees granting President Mohamed Morsi sweeping powers, branding them “an unprecedented attack” on the independence of the judiciary.  And a broad spectrum of Egypt's judiciary is expressing support for the country's outgoing judicial head, Abdel Mejid Mahmoud, who was fired by the president Thursday.

Former Prosecutor General Abdel Mejid Mahmoud speaks to reporters in Cairo, Nov. 24, 2012.
Former Prosecutor General Abdel Mejid Mahmoud speaks to reporters in Cairo, Nov. 24, 2012.

Mahmoud received a standing ovation by members of Egypt's Judge's Club, after telling them that he will appeal the president's decision to the judiciary. Mahmoud said he will insist on the application of all legal articles, including those that deal with the powers of the judiciary and the position of general prosecutor.  

At the same time that Mahmoud was receiving the applause of his fellow judges, newly named General Prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah told a press conference that he will remain impartial towards both those who oppose and support him. Abdallah said that he will not take sides in the current judicial political divide and remains equidistant from all parties, including those in favor of and against his nomination.

Judges in Egypt's second largest city of Alexandria also announced that they would hold a work stoppage until President Morsi withholds the decrees which have fueled a firestorm. Twenty six political parties and three former presidential candidates back a widespread protest movement in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands of demonstrators massed Friday.

Prominent Egyptian democracy advocate Mohammed ElBaradei has called on Egypt's president to rescind the near absolute powers he has granted himself. The Nobel laureate addressed crowds gathered in Cairo's central square on Saturday.

Said Sadek, who teaches political sociology at the American University in Cairo, said the president has pushed all but his most loyal supporters to turn against him.

"Now, the president is becoming more and more isolated," Sadek said. "Yesterday, when he was giving the speech in front of his own presidential palace, only Muslim Brotherhood people and Salafis attended, while in Tahrir Square you had the people, the groups that led the revolution, and they are all against this new constitutional proclamation."

Sadek went on to call Morsi's controversial decrees “a poisoned cake full of dictatorship or autocratic rule.”  He said those decrees are a “cover-up for the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the country and creating a theocratic state.”

Revolutionary forces opposed to the president's move have called for a new popular protest in Tahrir Square on Tuesday.  Some demonstrators have set up a tent camp in the square reminiscent of last year's popular protests against the government of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.  Partisans of Mr. Morsi are also calling for a demonstration to support him Sunday.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: ali baba from: new york
November 24, 2012 9:50 PM
moresy decision is a clear indication of abusing the power. he has a plan to convert the country into islamic state by any means necessary. he want to convert the country into islamic state on the expenses of moderate muslim and liberal and christain. . he did not understand that his plan will have severe negative impact on economy. eventually wesern country especially europen countries and us will lose trust on him and all the aids to the country will dry up .tourist will not visit a country that turn into stone age for the sake of islam

by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago, USA
November 24, 2012 7:17 PM
According to the top Egyptian newspaper, Ahram Online, November 24, 2012, the Egyptian Judiciary is divided between Judges who oppose Morsi, and Judges who support Morsi and accuse the opposing judges of "being lackeys of the former regime of Hosni Mubarak!

It is, therefore, fair to say that Egypt is not up in arms against Mr. Morsi as it is portrayed in the Western media hadlines. And, of course, there is El-Baradei, the loser of the Egyptian presidential election, who grabbed the opportunity to spit some sour grapes against Mr. Morsi.

The Egyptian people had a revolution, and the world must respect the leaders elected by the Egyptian people afterward in their first free and fair election in the Egyptian history! I sincerely feel that the Westerm media headlines are unfair to Mr. Morsi on their coverage of the current Egyptian events.
Nikos Retsos, retired professor

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs