Mohammed Morsi, Egypts recently elected President who was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood following the overthrow Hosni Mubarak, has fallen out of favor with some in his country after some questionable governmental actions.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has issued an order preventing any court from overturning his decisions, essentially allowing him to run the country unchecked until a new constitution is drafted, his spokesman announced on state TV Thursday.
Morsy also ordered retrials and reinvestigations in the deaths of protesters during last year’s uprising against strongman Hosni Mubarak. That could lead to the reprosecution of Mubarak, currently serving a life prison term, and several acquitted officials who served under him.
The order for retrials could please some Egyptians who’ve expressed disappointment that security officers and others have escaped legal consequences over last year’s protester crackdown by the Mubarak regime.
Some demonstrators in Cairo, however — protesting for a fourth day against Morsy and the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood — expressed anger over his assumption of more power. About 2,000 people protested Thursday night in and around Tahrir Square, with some chanting “birth of a new pharaoh” and “Morsy the dictator.”
Political rivals also expressed dismay Thursday evening.
“Morsy is taking over the executive, judicial, and legislative powers in his hands, and this is a dangerous path,” said the Twitter account of Hamdeen Sabahy, a former presidential candidate.
“Morsy has issued immunity to any laws he issues. This is the birth of a new dictator,” tweeted Khaled Ali, another former presidential candidate.
This may be just the beginning of a renewed round of civil unrest within Egypt.
More demonstrations are scheduled in Tahrir Square on Friday.
Fekri Mahkroub, a criminal court judge in Egypt’s Ismailia district, said Thursday night that he was “sad because what President Morsy did is an assault on the legislative and judicial system.”
“He defies anything the revolution stands for, and his actions are an insult to us as judges,” Mahkroub said. “Declaring that his laws cannot be questioned is unacceptable, and we may see a general judicial strike.”
Eric Trager, a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Morsy not only is preventing the judiciary from overruling his decisions, but he also has “insulated the Muslim-Brotherhood-dominated (constitutional panel) from judicial oversight.”
Depsite the protests in Cairo and objections from political rivals, Morsy — elected with nearly 52% of the vote in a June runoff against former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik — enjoys the “best mobilizing capability in the country” in the Muslim Brotherhood, Trager said.
“If there’s a nationwide movement against this, you’ll (also) have a nationwide movement for it,” Trager said.