President Mohammed Morsi speaks at Egyptian Television headquarters in Cairo in June (Photo: Reuters)
In a surprise move Thursday, President Mohamed Morsi issued a new Constitutional Declaration.
The declaration began by stating that the January 25 Revolution had mandated the president with the responsibility to achieve revolutionary demands and to root out remnants of the old regime from Egypt's state institutions. It also called for the building of a "new legitimacy built on a constitution" to promote "principles of freedom, justice and democracy."
Ahram Online provides a translated version of Thursday's Constitutional Declaration.
We have decided the following:
Reopen the investigations and prosecutions in the cases of the murder, the attempted murder and the wounding of protesters as well as the crimes of terror committed against the revolutionaries by anyone who held a political or executive position under the former regime, according to the Law of the Protection of the Revolution and other laws.
Previous constitutional declarations, laws, and decrees made by the president since he took office on 30 June 2012, until the constitution is approved and a new People’s Assembly [lower house of parliament] is elected, are final and binding and cannot be appealed by any way or to any entity. Nor shall they be suspended or canceled and all lawsuits related to them and brought before any judicial body against these decisions are annulled.
The prosecutor-general is to be appointed from among the members of the judiciary by the President of the Republic for a period of four years commencing from the date of office and is subject to the general conditions of being appointed as a judge and should not be under the age of 40. This provision applies to the one currently holding the position with immediate effect.
The text of the article on the formation of the Constituent Assembly in the 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration that reads, "it shall prepare a draft of a new constitution in a period of six months from the date it was formed” is to be amended to "it shall prepare the draft of a new constitution for the country no later than eight months from the date of its formation."
No judicial body can dissolve the Shura Council [upper house of parliament] or the Constituent Assembly.
The President may take the necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution.
This Constitutional Declaration is valid from the date of its publication in the official gazette.
Disclaimer: This is not an official judicial translation