The Judiciary in Egypt spoke out against Morsi and his new dictatorial powers this weekend and many are boycotting their courts. So today Morsi met with them hoping to try and resolve the crisis, but because he stood by his new powers, he’s likely prolonged the crisis:
YAHOO NEWS — Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi told the country’s top judges Monday that he did not infringe on their authority when he seized near absolute powers, setting the stage for a prolonged showdown on the eve of mass protests planned by both supporters and opponents of the Islamist leader.
The uncompromising stance came during a meeting between Morsi and members of the Supreme Judiciary Council in a bid to resolve a four-day crisis that has plunged the country into a new round of turmoil with clashes between the two sides that have left one protester dead and hundreds wounded.
The judiciary, the main target of Morsi’s edicts, also has pushed back, calling the decrees a power grab and an “assault” on the branch’s independence. Judges and prosecutors stayed away from many courts in Cairo and other cities on Sunday and Monday.
A spokesman said Morsi told the judges that he acted within his right as the nation’s sole source of legislation when he issued decrees putting himself above judicial oversight. The president also extended the same immunity to two bodies dominated by his Islamist allies — a panel drafting a new constitution and parliament’s mostly toothless upper chamber.
The spokesman, Yasser Ali, also told reporters that Morsi assured the judges that the decrees did not in any way “infringe” on the judiciary.
Ali’s comments signaled Morsi’s resolve not to back down or compromise on the constitutional amendments he announced last week, raising the likelihood of more violence as both sides planned competing rallies in Cairo on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at his specific decrees that have caused so much controversy and violence in Egypt (via AP):
— All laws and decisions by the president are final, cannot be appealed, overturned or halted by the courts or other bodies. This applies to decisions he has made since taking office in June and any he makes until a new constitution is approved and a new parliament is elected, expected in the spring at the earliest.
— No judicial body can dissolve the upper house of parliament or the assembly writing the new constitution. Both are dominated by the Brotherhood and other Islamists and several cases demanding their disbanding were before the courts, which previously dissolved the lower house of parliament.
— The president can take any steps or measures necessary to prevent threats to “the revolution, the life of the nation or national unity and security” or to the functioning of state institutions.
— A new judiciary body of “protection of the revolution” is created to reopen investigations, prosecutions and trials of former regime officials, including ousted President Hosni Mubarak, for the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising. Other police officers accused of killings, however, will not be retried.
— The controversial prosecutor general, a Mubarak appointee seen by many as lax in pursuing former regime figures, was removed from his post.