In a bid to reassure striking judges, Vice President Mahmoud Mekki confirmed that President Mohamed Morsi's contentious Constitutional Declaration will only be enforced for another 13 days, during a televised interview with state-owned Channel One Sunday evening.
In a follow-up statement on the presidential website Mekki admitted that as a judge himself, he had some initial reservations with the Constitutional Declaration. However, he said, President Morsi had reassured him that the objective of the declaration was to ensure the independence of the judiciary and its separation from political life.
Mekki also praised the draft constitution, which will be put to popular referendum on 15 December, saying it is the "best" national charter Egypt has ever had.
He added that he was "completely satisfied" with the constitution-drafting process and the efforts made by Constituent Assembly members.
Several of Egypt's main courts including the Constitutional Court and the Appeals Court have joined a Judges Club called strike, in protest of the Constitutional Declaration demanding that it be rescinded.
For his part, President Mohamed Morsi praised the draft constitution in a speech on Saturday evening, after members of the Constituent Assembly presented him the document at a meeting in the Conference Hall in Cairo.