Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Rescinds Controversial Decree

Cairo, Egypt — President Mohamed Morsi has rescinded a decree he issued last month that expanded his powers and kept his decisions beyond judicial review.

The announcement about Morsi was made by an official on Saturday, though the official, Selim al-Awa, stated that a referendum on the country’s draft constitution will proceed as planned, reports Al Jazeera.

Al-Awa, who has been acting as a spokesman of a meeting that Morsi held with other political leaders on Saturday, stated, “The constitutional decree is annulled from this moment.”

Despite the fact that Morsi has rescinded his pharaoh-like powers, Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros stated that “for the opposition, this may only go half way in terms of their demands being met. The big question now is how the opposition will respond.”

Newser notes that, along with rescinding his new powers, the opposition is demanding that the referendum be delayed, believing that it is biased against them. A state-sponsored newspaper reported earlier on Saturday that the Egyptian president was preparing to declare martial law.

Before Morsi rescinded his decree, the military stepped in to say that there needs to be “serious” dialogue between the opposing sides. The military stated:

“The path of dialogue is the best and only way to reach agreement and achieve the interests of the nation and its citizens. The opposite of that will take us into a dark tunnel with disastrous results.”

Several of the Egyptian president’s political advisers have resigned since Morsi first announced his decree on November 22. The president first asked that opposition leaders meet with him for dialogue on Saturday, but the opposition leaders declined. More than seven people have been killed in protests in the last two weeks because of Morsi’s decree.

Are you happy to hear that Morsi rescinded his decree giving himself dictator-like powers, or is it not enough to stop the violence gripping Egypt?