Morsi can avoid clashes in 30 June protests: Ex-legal advisor Gadallah

Ahram Online , Saturday 8 Jun 2013

President's former legal adviser says the president could avoid possible violent clashes by holding a plebiscite ahead of protests aiming to oust Morsi on 30 June

Fouad GAdallah
Fouad Gadallah (Photo: AO)

President Mohamed Morsi should hold a national referendum to determine if Egyptians want him to finish his four-year term before the planned 30 June demonstrations that will press for early presidential elections, states former presidential legal aide Mohamed Fouad Gadallah on Saturday.

Talking to the CBC satellite channel and relying on constitutional articles 5 and 105, Gadallah said power is in the people's hands and the president can hold a national referendum to decide whether they want him to remain. This, he says, would avoid potential violence that may erupt on 30 June between opponents and supporters.

Gadallah went on to deny he had anything to do with the controversial presidential decree that Morsi announced on 21 November, where he lost popularity for making presidential decisions immune to judicial appeal.

"The decision [to declare the referendum] was not made by the presidency but by the Muslim Brotherhood [from which the president hails]" said Gaddallah refuting he had advised the president to make the decree.

Gadallah is believed to have stood by the controversial constitutional declaration issued by the president in November giving him sweeping powers and shielding his decisions from judicial overview. The declaration led to the resignation of many presidential aides and has become a sore spot in Morsi's term.

He also criticised several of President Morsi’s decisions, including one on a controversial tug-of-war over the pivotal prosecutor-general position. Morsi had removed then prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud from his post and replaced him with Talaat Abdullah, but a court disagreed with the move and ordered Abdel-Meguid to be reinstated. After the verdict, Gadallah claims he had advised the president to settle the matter by reinstating Abdel-Meguid and offering Abdullah another position. Today the matter sits in appeal court.

Furthermore, he opined that since experience has revealed the recent constitution is "dysfunctional," according to the former legal aide, it should be amended.

Gadallah resigned as Morsi's presidential legal aide on 23 April, with his resignation statement mostly reflecting opposition grievances, such as dissatisfaction with the Hisham Qandil-led government, which opposition has been demanding be sacked.

As deputy head of Egypt's State Council, Gadallah also criticised in his resignation what he said was the presidency's assault on the judiciary.

The presidency and judiciary had locked horns over a new judicial authority law which, if passed, would lead to the early retirement of over 3,000 judges – a move considered an attack on the judiciary and an attempt by the Brotherhood to control the judiciary.

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