Egypt's Mursi to meet judicial council on 'temporary' decree
Cairo: Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi will on Monday hold talks with members of the state's highest judicial authority, the Supreme Judicial Council, to discuss his decree making him immune to judicial oversight.
Egypt's liberal and secular forces — long divided, weakened and uncertain amid the rise of Islamist parties to power — are seeking to rally themselves in response to the decrees issued this week by President Mohammed Mursi. The President granted himself sweeping powers to "protect the revolution".
In a bid to calm down angry Egyptians, the office of Mursi has said that the decree giving the President sweeping new powers is temporary and not intended to concentrate power in his hands, reported the BBC.
Committed to find "common ground" with other parties, Mursi will meet senior judges on Monday.
Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday called for nationwide demonstrations in support of Mursi, as the deeply-polarised country braced for more clashes.
The day started with clashes in the morning between liberals who oppose Mursi's decisions and have been camped out in the iconic Tahrir square since Friday and his supporters who tried to burn the sit-in tents down.
Egypt's military erected a new wall near Tahrir Square as clashes continued between police and protesters angry at President Mursi's Constitutional Declaration.
The crisis also struck the country's stock exchange with share prices plunging almost 9.5 percent.
The judiciary, which was the main target of Mursi's edicts, had pushed back on Saturday. The country's highest body of judges, the Supreme Judicial Council, had called his decrees an "unprecedented assault”. Courts in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria announced a work suspension until the decrees are lifted.
Outside the high court building in Cairo, several hundred demonstrators rallied against Mursi, chanting, "Leave! Leave!" echoing the slogan used against former leader Hosni Mubarak in last year's uprising that ousted him. Police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of young men who were shooting flares outside the court.
The edicts issued on Wednesday have galvanised anger brewing against Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, ever since he took office in June as Egypt's first freely-elected President. Critics accuse the Brotherhood — which has dominated elections the past year — and other Islamists of monopolising power and doing little to bring real reform or address Egypt's mounting economic and security woes.
Opposition groups have called for new nationwide rallies on Tuesday — and the Muslim Brotherhood has called for rallies supporting Mursi the same day, setting the stage for new violence.