Egypt's President Morsi expands power, defies judiciary with new declaration

Ahram Online, Thursday 22 Nov 2012

President Morsi issues new constitutional declaration appointing new prosecutor-general; immunizing Constituent Assembly and Shura Council from threat of dissolution; and calling for retrial of ex-regime figures

 All decrees passed by Egypt
FILE - In this Monday, April 30, 2012 file photo, President Mohammed Morsi (Photo: AP)

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a constitutional declaration on Thursday calling for the retrial of those accused of killing and injuring protesters during and after last year's Tahrir Square uprising.

The retrials will also target ex-regime officials who have carried out "terrorism" against Egyptian protesters.

An article in the declaration also gives immunity to Egypt's controversy-prone Constituent Assembly – tasked with drafting a new constitution – from a potential court verdict that may have otherwise led to its dissolution.

Another article protects the current Shura Council – the upper, consultative house of Egypt's parliament – from dissolution, effectively pre-empting appeals against the council's constitutionality.

The declaration also gives the president the power to appoint Egypt's prosecutor-general for a four-year period.

The new declaration included the appointment of Judge Talaat Ibrahim Mohamed Abdullah, a former deputy head of Egypt's Court of Cassation, to the post of prosecutor-general.

The decree also called for giving pensions to the families of the "martyrs of the 25 January Revolution" and increasing reparations to those injured.

The surprise decision came amid ongoing clashes between protesters and police on Cairo's Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

Protests held to commemorate four days of street fighting between protesters and security forces in November of last year turned violent on Monday.

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