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Presidency assures constitutional declaration is temporary
Egypt's presidency releases a statement justifying President Morsi's controversial decree issued Thursday; confirms it will include opposition in dialogue over constitution
Ahram Online, Sunday 25 Nov 2012
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Presidency seeks dialogue with opposition
In this Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, President Mohammed Morsi speaks to supporters outside the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt while tens of thousands protest constitutional declaration in Tahrir Square. (Photo: Reuters)

The office of the president released a statement to the media Sunday assuring that the constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsi last week is only a temporary measure, necessary to follow up on corruption crimes and protect elected bodies.

The statement said there is a need to hold accountable those responsible of corruption under the former regime and during the transitional period, as well as to attain the rights of the revolution's martyrs, which can only be accomplished by the declaration.

"The presidency reiterates the temporary nature of the said measures, which are not meant to concentrate powers, but on the contrary to devolve it to democratically elected parliament and to avoid any attempt to undermine or abort two democratically elected bodies (the upper house of parliament and the Constituent Assembly), as well as preserving the impartiality of the judiciary and to void politicising it," the statement read.

The statement also sought to assure the country's political forces will all be included in a national dialogue to reach consensus over the constitution.

Meanwhile, President Morsi has been holding meetings with advisors and aides to discuss the current crisis that followed the new constitutional declaration. 

A meeting is planned between the president and the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) Monday. The SJC released a statement earlier announcing their refusal of the constitutional declaration, describing Morsi's move as an "unprecedented attack on judicial independence."

Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki has intervened to mediate between the judiciary and the presidency, holding a meeting Sunday with the SJC after judges threatened to strike in protest against the declaration. 

The declaration issued by Morsi blocks the judiciary, or any other body, from challenging Morsi's decisions legally. The decree also guarantees the Shura Council (the upper house of parliament) and the controversial Islamist-led Constituent Assembly against dissolution by court order.

The declaration further included the sacking of the prosecutor general, who Morsi had attempted to remove some weeks ago but could not due to a prior legal barrier.

Morsi also ordered the retrial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and aides in relation to the killing of protesters during the January 25 Revolution.

Commentators, critics and protesters soon dubbed Morsi as the "new Pharaoh," branding the new constitutional declaration as dictatorial.

Tens of thousands took to the streets Friday to protest the declaration. Rights organisations also released statements condemning Morsi's decisions while several presidential advisors resigned their positions in protest.  

Hundreds of judges also held an extraordinary meeting Saturday rejecting the declaration and announcing they would commence strike action.





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mumby
26-11-2012 04:38pm
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Be realistic
I hope constitutional declaration goes shorter.The crucial thing is completing drafting continuation.It shouldn't halt by judicial court.In absent of continuation Egypt will have no stability.The opponent just oppose because of small thing and rejecting majority decision
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A.K.
26-11-2012 02:30pm
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Unit .. Do Not Divide !
The president is supposed to govern for all Egyptians and to implement policies that unit the people not divide them. Granting himself powers above and outside the law is dividing the nation: Egyptian against Egyptian and revolutionary against revolutionary. This is not a receipe for success; it is a divisive receipe for disaster and further political and economic insability. Having said that, those opposing the president super power decision must not insult the president and must protect the democracy achieved so far and only demonstrate peacefully to express their views, respect the law and order and protect public and private properties. Those who do not like this regime need to unit and prepare for next election to get rid of it peacefully !!
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Hamada
26-11-2012 10:37am
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TA7YA MISR!! THE PREVIOUS CONSTITUTION + AMMENDMENTS= PEACEFUL PROSPEROUS EGYPT
ONE WAY POSSIBLE FOR THE PRESIDENT TO OBTAIN HIS GOALS WHILE ENDING THE REASONS FOR VIOLENCE WOULD BE TO ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO VOTE IF HIS DECISION IS LEGALLY BINDING. ANOTHER SOLUTION WOULD BE TO REPEAL HIS DECREE AND REINSTATE THE OLD CONSTITUTION UNTIL THE NEXT ONE IS READY, THEN THE PEOPLE COULD VOTE ON WHICH ONE THEY WANT OR DECIDE AGAINST BOTH. SINCE THE ELECTION ENDED MY SUSPICION THAT SHAFIQ ACTUALLY WON HAVE GROWN STRONGER. IT IS LIKELY MORSI IS TEMPTING THE MILITARY TO TAKE POWER BACK, ONE MAN SHOULD NOT HAVE ABSOLUTE POWER OVER EGYPT IN 2012 AND THE FUTURE. TA7YA MISR
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Hector M
26-11-2012 08:10am
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Presidency assures constitutional declaration is temporary is very true
These losers opposition, with Copts as leader were very much anticipating the dissolution of the constituent assembly and upper parliament by Mubarak’s thug prosecutor General, and other judges in the HCC. Now those losers are really disappointed by the decision the president took. These traitors are crying foul now while they were very happy when lower house was dissolved by Junta. No wonder the last walkout by Copts was the final indication that traitors are ready to make move against constituent assembly.
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Andrew Arato
26-11-2012 01:33am
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compromise?
Two things should be made clear. (they are confused by a NY Times article tonite) 1. the judges rebelling against the presidential constitutional declaration are not merely or simply insititutional representatives of the old regime. As Tamir Moustafa showed in a great book, the courts have battled the old regime repeatedly and on many issues. 2. A compromise suggested by the Minister of Justice, that would take away only the right of dissolving the constituent assembly from the Cosntitutional Court is no compromise at all. This was the main point of the declaration. El Baradei and the rest of his colleagues are right: the whole Declaration should be withdrawn. A genuine compromise however would be the establishment of an inclusive, consensual Committee of Reconciliation that would give binding recommendations on the main disputed points to the Constitutional assembly that could be left intact.
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Hasan
26-11-2012 08:35am
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Compromise...?
Loser can't be choosers...minority should not impose their agenda on majority..Those who don't have any support from the masses ,those who do not represent the Majority can impose their views and ideology on the majority of egyptions.So called liberals & leftist are only a minor segment of the egyption society but they are trying to hijack the whol constitutional procee.President did the right thing to block their plance.
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Nora
25-11-2012 09:43pm
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Democracy 101 : Class on Accepting Defeat with Grace
The decision that Morsi took will provide stability for the two institutions that currently working on the constitution document. At the end of the day, the constitution will be voted on by the people, I am not sure what is the problem for all this drama, that is costing us more than $4 B. The ordinary Egyptain will have to pay for that. El-bardadie, Sabhahi, and Mossa, they all are fat cats with motives. I have not heard any of them conceding their loss for the presidential election. We need to train politicians on how to accept election defeat with grace. They need to put the country interests ahead of their own.
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