Egyptian Demonstrations Continue Over Morsi Decree


 U.S. media is reporting that demonstrations are continuing in Cairo over President Morsi’s decision to assume sweeping new powers placing him above any oversight. According to a Voice of America report:

November 28, 2012 CAIRO, EGYPT — Hundreds of Egyptians continued to demonstrate for a sixth consecutive day against President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday as two of Egypt’s highest courts said they will suspend work in protest of his decree last week granting himself judicial immunity.  Police fired tear gas into a crowd of stone-throwing protesters on a street near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Other demonstrators staged a sit-in at Tahrir Square, the epicenter of protests during last year’s ouster of Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. The recent, ongoing protests are not just against Morsi, but also against the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization from where he came. Opposition groups are calling for the brotherhood’s spiritual leader to get out of the way. Born in Sharqiya in the Nile Delta in 1951 Received a PhD from University of Southern California in 1982 Elected to parliament in 2005 Arrested and jailed in 2006 for protests supporting reformist judges Jailed again at the start of Egypt’s pro-democracy protests in 2011 Led the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party Became Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate after Khairat el-Shater was disqualified It is a stunning reversal for an organization that spent decades building good will among Egyptians, playing the long game of combining charity work and prayer to win hearts and minds.   It largely paid off. In June, its presidential candidate, Morsi, proved to many liberal and secular voters the better choice to lead a post-revolution society. Morsi granted himself new powers in a November 22 decree, though, that bars the judiciary from challenging his decisions. The president says the decrees are designed to protect state institutions. Morsi later promised the Supreme Judicial Council that he will restrict his newly self-granted powers to ‘sovereign matters.’ The vaguely worded statement, however, did not define the issues over which he would have absolute power. In a move that could help resolve the political crisis, the assembly drafting a new constitution said it would complete work Wednesday on a final draft later. Three assembly members said a vote on the draft by the assembly was planned for Thursday. A new constitution would override Morsi’s current moves. But many liberals and other opponents of Morsi have in recent weeks ended participation in the assembly, which is dominated by Islamists. They say their voices are not being heard. Dangerous play   Mustafa el-Labbad, director of the Al Sharq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies, said Morsi is in dangerous political waters.

Read the rest here.

A post from yesterday reported that following days of violence that saw Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood offices sacked and burned around the country,  Egyptian President Morsi may be softening his decision to assume the sweeping new powers and the Brotherhood website reported that Morsi had met with the Supreme Judicial Council. 

post from Friday reported on the violence that had broken out across Egypt in the wake of Morsi’s decision. Earlier posts had reported on the unprecedented worldwide acclaim that Morsi had been receiving for his perceived role in the Hamas/Israel truce.

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