Chaos in Egypt again!
Buoyed by international praise for the effort he made to mediate a Gaza ceasefire, where out of 104 civilians killed and 970 wounded, 34 and 274 respectively were children, president Mursi of Egypt tried to consolidate his power by a decree giving him sweeping new powers.
This surprising move sparked violent nationwide protests.
The president said that he was acting to protect the revolution. Specifically, he wanted to prevent the courts from disbanding for a second time, the assembly that is writing the Egyptian constitution. There was credible reports that the courts might be about to do this.
Most of the judges are appointed by the ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak. Many Egyptians think that they are still loyal to the old regime. The same applies to the prosecutor-general whom Mursi sacked.
His replacement moved quickly to re-open criminal investigations into the former president, his family and former regime officials. A series of trials for corruption and for the killing of protesters during the revolution have so far had only mixed results, raising questions about the loyalty of the prosecutor, though Hosni Mubarak himself is serving a long prison term.
A possible way out of the crisis would be for a memorandum or amendment defining the decree’s limits.
It was reported that the president was due to meet members of the Supreme Judicial Council to discuss the decree on an early date. Several prominent opposition leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize winner former head of IAEA, Mohamed El Baradei, have said they will not engage in dialogue with the president until he rescinds the measure, known as the constitutional declaration.
Meanwhile a Cairo administrative court has said it will hold a first hearing on 4 December in a case brought by lawyers and activists against the decree.
According to president Mursi’s decree, no authority can revoke presidential decisions. Mursi’s supporters have called for one million people march to take place outside Cairo University.
In every way, we believe, Mursi’s supporters can easily outnumber the opposition. A chaos in Cairo at this moment is not at all good for the Palestinians in Gaza Strip in particular and for the Egyptians in general.
- Asian Tribune -