Egypt’s president agreed on Monday that only his decisions related to “sovereign” matters would be protected from judicial review, his spokesman said, indicating he had accepted a judiciary-proposed compromise to try to defuse a crisis.
President Mohamed Mursi had enraged opponents with a decree on Thursday that expanded his powers and put beyond legal oversight any decision he took until parliament was in place. Senior judges proposed he limit that to “sovereign matters.”
READ ON: Egypt’s Mursi tells judges decree limited in scope
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s decree exempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected caused fury amongst his opponents on Friday who accused him of being the new Hosni Mubarak and hijacking the revolution.
Thousands of chanting protesters packed Tahrir Square, the heart of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising, demanding Mursi quit and accusing him of launching a “coup”. There were violent protests in Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.
Mursi’s aides said the presidential decree was to speed up a protracted transition that has been hindered by legal obstacles but Mursi’s rivals were quick to condemn him as a new autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his Islamist vision on Egypt.