Nov 28, 2012 Comments Off Infidel
(Reuters) - Hundreds of demonstrators were in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for a sixth day on Wednesday, demanding that President Mohamed Mursi rescind a decree they say gives him dictatorial powers, while two of Egypt’s top courts stopped work in protest.
Egypt’s Cassation and Appeals courts said they would suspend their work until the constitutional court rules on the decree, which has further damaged Mursi’s already testy relationship with the country’s judges.
In a speech on Friday, Mursi praised the judiciary as a whole but referred to corrupt elements he aimed to weed out.
A spokesman for the Supreme Constitutional Court, which declared the Islamist-led parliament void earlier this year, said on Wednesday that it felt under attack by the president.
“The really sad thing that has pained the members of this court is when the president of the republic joined, in a painful surprise, the campaign of continuous attack on the Constitutional Court,” said the spokesman Maher Samy.
Senior judges have been negotiating with Mursi about how to restrict his new powers, while protesters want him to dissolve an Islamist-dominated assembly that is drawing up a new constitution and which Mursi protected from legal review.
The courts have dealt a series of blows to Mursi and the Brotherhood. The first constituent assembly, also packed with Islamists, was dissolved. An attempt by Mursi in October to remove the unpopular general prosecutor was also blocked.
In his decree, Mursi gave himself the power to sack the prosecutor general and appoint a new one, which he duly did.