A mass rally by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in support of President Morsi's controversial decree was cancelled on Monday out of fear of further bloodshed. Morsi stood by his decree during talks with the country's top judges .
A planned march by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in support of President Mohamed Morsi’s controversial decree was cancelled on Monday over fears of further violence.
The decree announced by Morsi last Thursday gave him sweeping powers and immunity from judicial oversight, plunging Egypt into a new round of turmoil and street clashes.
A spokesman for the Brotherhood said on Monday that it had cancelled the mass rally planned for Cairo on Tuesday in order to “lessen congestion” and avoid “public tension.” However, a planned march by opponents of Morsi will go ahead.
The decision came as Morsi stuck by his controversial decree in a meeting with the country's top judges aimed at negotiating an end to the crisis.
Controversial decree ‘temporary’
There is "no change to the constitutional declaration," the president’s spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters after the showdown with the country’s senior judges. However, he said the president clarified to the judges that any irrevocable decisions apply only to issues related "to his sovereign powers" and stressed the temporary nature of the decree.
Speaking after the meeting Ali said: “The president said he had the utmost respect for the judicial authority and its members."
The Islamist-dominated assembly writing Egypt’s new constitution and the upper house of parliament which is also controlled by Morsi’s allies are also shielded from legal challenge by the decree.
“The president and the Supreme Judicial Council confirmed their desire for no conflict or difference between the judicial and presidential authorities,” Ali told reporters.
There has been no official statement as yet from the country’s judiciary in the wake of the high-level talks.
The decree had also ordered new investigations into crimes committed against protesters during the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011, suggesting Mubarak and his aides would face retrial.
Ali said new investigations and trials would only occur, “where new evidence appeared”.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Date created : 2012-11-26