Egypt's Judges Club to refrain from supervising constitutional poll

Zeinab El Gundy , Tuesday 11 Dec 2012

Judges club declares it will not take part in overseeing Saturday's controversial referendum on Egypt's proposed constitution

Judge Ahmed Zend
Judge Ahmed Zend (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian Judges Club's general assembly announced at a Tuesday press conference in Cairo its final decision not to supervise Saturday's popular referendum on Egypt's draft constitution.

The club made its decision following the refusal of the vast majority of judges' clubs across the country to participate in the referendum as supervisors, according to statements by the club's general assembly.

Judge Ahmed Zend slammed the new constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsi on Saturday, describing it as an "insult" to the judiciary. "The new constitutional declaration still makes the president's decisions immune from judicial appeal," he said.

Morsi issued a new declaration on Saturday, cancelling his controversial 22 November decree, which made the president's decisions immune to court appeal and which triggered mass demonstrations across Egypt.

The new decree, however, states that all decisions made while the since-cancelled decree was in effect would remain impervious to judicial appeal, including the replacement of Egypt's Mubarak-appointed prosecutor-general, Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud.

Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim, recently appointed by Morsi to replace Mahmoud, urged judges not to boycott supervision of the constitutional poll in a message he sent to the Judges Club earlier on Tuesday.

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