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Egypt president's advisor for legal affairs tenders resignation

President Morsi's advisor for legal affairs Mohamed Fouad Gadallah resigns, citing presidency's failure to resolve ongoing impasse with Egypt's judiciary as main reason for decision

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Apr 2013
 Egypt President
Egypt President's legal advisor Mohamed Fouad Gadallah (Photo: Ahram)
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Presidential advisor for legal affairs Mohamed Fouad Gadallah submitted his resignation to President Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday, citing several reasons for his decision including the presidency's ongoing dispute with Egypt's judiciary.

Gadallah's resignation brings the number of presidential advisors to have resigned to 11 out of an original 17.

Most resignations followed President Morsi's controversial constitutional declaration in November of last year, which temporarily made his decisions immune from judicial challenge. At the time, Gadallah had supported the president's declaration.

The text of Gadallah's resignation letter included seven reasons for his decision, many of which echo the demands of Egypt's political opposition. These include the dismissal of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, along with accusations that Egypt's Islamist current was attempting to monopolise political power.

Gadallah also criticised the presidency's failure to resolve the ongoing political impasse over Morsi-appointed Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah, who critics accuse of being beholden to the Brotherhood. Abdullah's appointment last November was recently reversed by court order, but he nevertheless remains in his position.

At the time, Abdullah's appointment was staunchly defended by Gadallah. Many opposition groups were in favour of removing Abdullah's predecessor – Mubarak-era prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud – but objected to Morsi's method of appointment.

Gadallah also cited "the absence of a general vision for administrating the state and achieving the goals of the revolution" as a reason for his decision to resign, along with the alleged failure by the presidency to conduct the necessary dialogue with other political forces.

The Islamist-leaning former aid also accused the presidency of "opening Egypt up to Shiite influence" after allowing Iranian tourists into the country for the first time in 30 years. He also charged President Morsi with neglecting Egypt's "revolutionary youth" by keeping them on the sidelines of political decision-making.

Gadallah, who is also deputy head of Egypt's State Council, took the decision to resign amid a months-long row between the presidency and judiciary. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and its allies hope to see draft legislation ratified that would lead to the retirement of over 3,000 judges.

The bill has been attacked by scores of judges who accuse the Brotherhood of attempting to establish control over Egypt's judiciary. The Egyptian Judges Club, an unofficial elected judicial union, is expected to convene a general assembly meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

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