Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (Photo: AP)
President Mohamed Morsi is set to meet with senior members of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) Monday afternoon in an attempt to limit the deepening crisis sparked by a constitutional declaration he issued last Thursday.
Meetings on the divisive decree will take place at the same time that a sit-in and protests are being held by opponents demanding a complete cancellation of the decree, asserting it is a threat to the democratic future of the country.
Morsi on Sunday announced his respect for Egypt's judiciary and its independence. Following the decree, by which General Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud was replaced, hundreds of judges held a general assembly Saturday, in the presence of Mahmoud, and mulled measures to oppose the decree.
The SJC has suggested it does not reject the declaration outright, saying Morsi's decree should apply only to "sovereign matters." It called on judges and prosecutors, some of whom began a strike Sunday following a decision made at the general assembly meeting Saturday, to return to work.
Clashes between pro and anti-Brotherhood supporters have been ongoing since Friday, with over 500 people reported injured. Opponents have dubbed Morsi the "new pharaoh," deeming the decree a power grab on his part.
Violent clashes have also resulted in one death. A Muslim Brotherhood member, Islam Fathi Maasoud, 15, was killed and dozens injured Sunday in an attack on the main office of the Brotherhood in the Egyptian Nile Delta town of Damanhour, the Freedom and Justice Party announced.