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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy says there will be no amendments of the Constitutional Declaration

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsy

As the massive rallies and protests against the controversial Constitutional Declaration issued by Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy continue in Cairo and in other Egyptian governorates, the President had an emergency meeting with some high ranking representatives of state’s judiciary today, on 26 November.

Morsy’s official spokesperson Yasser Ali announced after the meeting that according to the President’s statement there will be no amendments of the controversial presidential decree which sparked so strong criticism and provoked the massive demonstrations nationwide.

According to the official statement, Egypt’s President was acting in the within his constitutional rights and didn’t violate any country’s laws. The President also respects the independence of the state’s judiciary and would like to avoid any clashes with the judiciary, but the changes wouldn’t be imposed on the decree.

Yasser Ali stressed that the nature of this Constitutional Declaration is temporally and will be in power only until the new Constitution will be approved and the new Parliament will be elected in the country. This decree was just “misunderstood” by Egyptians and oppositional forces, added Presidential spokesperson.

Egyptians protesting against Morsy's decree
Thus, Mr. Morsy announced that according to his Constitutional Declaration his broad powers will have temporally immunity from any challenges, even by court, as it is necessary on the current stage for bringing the stability and making the transitional period faster protecting the goals of the Revolution.

Yasser Ali said: “The Constitutional Declaration will immunize only the President’s sovereign decisions”. So, the nature of this decree was misinterpreted.

As for the issue of retrials of the policemen and Mubarak-era figure accused of killing and injuring protesters during the January 25 Revolution, Yasser Ali said this article will apply only to those cases where there are some new evidences.

We would remind here, that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy issued on Thursday, 22 November, the new Constitutional Declaration which granted him more powers. First articles of this decree announced the investigations and the retrials of those officials and policemen accused of killing and injuring the protesters during the Revolution. The next issue was the immunity which was given to the Shura Council (Egypt’s upper house of the Parliament) and to Constituent Assembly which is under threat of dissolution due to the court verdict. In addition to that Morsy gave the Constitution drafting body another two months to work and to find the common solution.

With the Constitutional Declaration President has also sacked Egypt's Prosecutor General and appointed the new one. This move provoked deep concerns and worries among the judges as they saw it as a threat to the independence of judiciary in Egypt. Several Judges have announced the strike protesting this decree.

Egyptians protesting in the streets against the latest
Constitutional Declaration
The most controversial issue was the article which declared Morsy’s decisions, decrees and laws final, so they cannot be challenge by any authority, even by court. President also can take any measures which will be considered being necessary for the protecting of the country’s unity, security and the goals of Revolution.

The Constitutional Declaration sparked the wave of strong criticism within Egyptian society, as the oppositional liberal and secular forces refuse to accept the declaration and reject any negotiations with Morsy and his Cabinet until the decree won’t be cancelled. This decision considered being a threat to democracy in Egypt and is seen as an attempt to grab the power.

Massive protests against this decision started in Egypt on Friday, 23 November, and they continue till now, turning into violent clashes between the protesters and the security forces. In addition to that there are also the rallies held by Morsy supporters, and there were several clashes in different Egyptian governorates happening between the supporters of Morsy and those who are protesting against his decision. The numbers of injured people are increasing, there are also lethal cases.

The massive million-man march to protest the Constitution Declaration is planned by the oppositional forces to take place on Tuesday. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square and in the main squares of other Egypt’s cities. The prominent oppositional figures and more than 30 different political parties and powers created the National Front to defend the goals of the revolution and to fight the latest decision of Morsy.

The massive march has been also planned by Muslim Brotherhood supporters on Tuesday. It was scheduled for taking place in Cairo’s Abdeen Square, which is very close to Tahrir, but later the plans were changed, and the march was relocated to Giza. According to the latest reports the Muslim Brotherhood representatives reported they decided to postpone this demonstration.