A new constitutional declaration issued on Thursday gives the president unlimited powers, say some legal experts, and will allow President Mohamed Morsi to reinstate the dissolved Islamist-led parliament and appoint a new prosecutor-general.
"With this declaration, the president has put an end to the law and the judiciary system. This is absolute fascism," Hossam Essa, legal expert and Cairo University law professor, told Ahram Online.
The declaration states: "Constitutional declarations and presidential decisions taken since the president has taken office and until the constitution is issued are not refutable."
Days after Morsi assumed the presidency, he issued a decree reinstating the dissolved Islamist-led parliament. In response, the High Constitutional Court (HCC) overturned Morsi’s decision, calling it unconstitutional.
Parliament has remained dissolved to date, but experts say the latest declaration opens the door for the president to reinstate it. "The president granted himself the right to bring back the dissolved parliament," Essa told Ahram Online.
On 15 June, before Morsi won the presidential elections, Egypt’s then-ruling military council ordered the dissolution of parliament based on an HCC ruling, which rendered Egypt's parliamentary elections law unconstitutional.
The latest constitutional declaration not only gives the president the right to reconvene parliament, but it also gives him the power to appoint a new prosecutor-general. Morsi has since appointed Talaat Abdallah as prosecutor-general in place of Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud.
"With this latest constitutional declaration, Morsi has given himself the right to do anything and everything," Essa said.
The fight over the appointment of the prosecutor-general goes back to October, when Morsi attempted to remove Egypt's Mubarak-era prosecutor-general from the post he had held since 2006. Mahmoud, however, challenged the decision and had remained in office until today.
Before the latest constitutional declaration was announced, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members amassed outside Egypt's Supreme Court in Cairo to demand a "purge" of the country's judicial system, including Mahmoud's dismissal.