Egypt crisis: Mohammed Mursi to meet top judges

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi in Cairo (23 Nov 2012)Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi is set to meet senior judges to try to settle a mounting crisis over the extent of his powers.

A decree giving him sweeping new powers was announced on Thursday, sparking violent nationwide protests and leading to a 9% drop in Egypt’s stock market.

Mr Mursi said on Sunday the decree was temporary and not intended to concentrate power in his hands.

Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky said he believed a resolution would be found.

The president said earlier he was committed to finding “common ground” with other parties.

He also hoped to reach consensus on a new constitution currently being drafted, he added, and the decree was intended to prevent democratically elected bodies from being undermined.

Mediation efforts

The Judges’ Club, which represents judges throughout the country, called for a nationwide strike to protest against the decree over the weekend.

The journalists’ union also rejected the president’s decree and threatened to go on strike.

But the top judicial body, the Supreme Judicial Council, appeared not to reject the decree outright, saying it should only apply to “sovereign matters”, and urged judges to return to work.

Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky has begun efforts to mediate between the president and the judges.

The minister said he himself had some reservations about the president’s decree, Reuters reported. When asked by reporters on Monday about the council’s insistence that the decree be limited to sovereign matters, he said: “I believe President Mohammed Mursi wants that.”

A possible way out of the crisis would be for a memorandum or amendment defining the decree’s limits, reports said.


BBC has the full article

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