Posted in: Middle East

Egypt’s President Agrees To Limit New Sweeping Decree

Egypt's President Meets With Judges

Cairo, Egypt — Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has agreed to limit the power of his new sweeping decree instituted last week that would sought to raise his edicts above judicial review.

Branded Egypt’s newest “pharaoh,” for the move, Morsi met with top judicial authorities on Monday to speak about the powers, assuring the body that the powers are temporary, reports The New York Times.

The agreement reached by both parties will leave the majority of the president’s actions subject to judicial review, save one. Morsi will still be able to protect the country’s constitutional council from being dissolved by the courts until after it completes its work.

The council is currently drafting a new constitution for the country that has spent years under the rule of a dictator. The Muslim Brotherhood, which is the party that Morsi is affiliated with, also announced it will council a massive rally planned for Tuesday in Cairo.

The Guardian notes that Yasser Ali spoke with reporters after the judicial council spoke with Morsi, saying:

“The president said he had the utmost respect for the judicial authority and its members … the article [in the decree[ regarding retrials of past regime officials is dependent on the discovery of new evidence.”

Ali added that Morsi’s decree is temporary, adding that “both the presidency and the judiciary are cautious for there not to be a confrontation between the executive and the judiciary.”

There have been no amendments to the decree, despite the agreement reached by both sides. The Obama administration weighed in on the unrest in Egypt, with President Obama calling for peace in the region. White House Spokesman Jay Carney stated that they recognize the importance Egypt had during the recent cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Carney added:

“Separately we’ve raised concerns about some of the decisions and declarations that were made on 22 November. And we continue to engage with the Egyptians on this. And I think the important issue here is the Egyptian people want a government that reflects their will.”

Despite Morsi’s meeting with the judicial council, Egyptians remain uneasy. They have also braced for expected protests on Tuesday. Most schools and universities will be closed and several workplaces plan to close early in anticipation with the marches.

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