Egypt court to hear case on Dec 4
, November 26, 2012
A Cairo administrative court has set a first hearing for December 4 in a case challenging President Mohamed Mursi's decree granting him extra powers, the court said in a statement on Monday.
The case was brought by lawyers and activists, a court source said.
Other moves by Mursi have been challenged in the courts during Egypt's turbulent transition, and sometimes multiple challenges have been made over his actions.
Meanwhile, Mursi is expected to meet senior judges later today to try to defuse the crisis over his seizure of new powers which has set off violent protests reminiscent of the revolution last year that led to the rise of his Islamist movement.
The justice minister said he believed Mursi would agree with the country's highest judicial authority on its proposal to limit the scope of the new powers.
But the protesters, some camped in Cairo's Tahrir Square, have said only retracting the decree will satisfy them, a sign of the deep rift between Islamists and their opponents that is destabilising Egypt two years after Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
"There is no use amending the decree," said Tarek Ahmed, 26, a protester who stayed the night in Tahrir, where tents covered the central traffic circle. "It must be scrapped."
One person has been killed and about 370 injured in clashes between police and protesters since Mursi issued the decree on Thursday shielding his decisions from judicial review, emboldened by international plaudits for brokering an end to eight days of violence between Israel and Hamas.
The stock market is down more than 7 percent.
Mursi's political opponents have accused him of behaving like a dictator and the West has voiced its concern, worried by more turbulence in a country that has a peace treaty with Israel and lies at the heart of the Arab Spring.
Mursi's administration has defended his decree as an effort to speed up reforms and complete a democratic transformation. Leftists, liberals, socialists and others say it has exposed the autocratic impulses of a man once jailed by Mubarak.
Mursi's office said he would meet Egypt's highest judicial authority, the Supreme Judicial Council, on Monday, and the council hinted at compromise.
Mursi's decree should apply only to "sovereign matters", it said, suggesting it did not reject the declaration outright, and called on judges and prosecutors, some of whom began a strike on Sunday, to return to work.
Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky, speaking about the council statement, said: "I believe President Mohamed Mursi wants that." - Reuters
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