Judge strike planned in Egypt over Mursi power grab
Published Saturday, November 24, 2012
Judges in the major Egyptian city of Alexandria announced Saturday that they would go on strike after a decree granted sweeping powers to President Mohammed Mursi.
The presidential decree issued Thursday night granted Mursi near-absolute power, shielding his decisions from judicial review until the final drafting of the country’s constitution and the election of a new parliament.
This decision sparked anger in Egypt, as demonstrations of supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood president clashed violently in Cairo and other cities on Friday.
The judges’ club in Alexandria said work would be suspended in all courts and prosecution offices until the decree was reversed, the Egyptian state news agency reported.
Egypt’s Higher Judicial Council criticized Mursi’s seizure of power, calling it an “unprecedented attack” on the freedom of the judiciary, AP news agency reported.
Mursi’s critics began a one-week sit-in protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to demand the Islamist leader retract the declaration.
"All revolutionary political forces have agreed to begin a sit-in starting Friday," the Popular Current led by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said in a statement, calling for a mass protest on Tuesday.
So far, 26 political movements and parties have agreed to take part in the sit-in, organizers told AFP.
Supporters of the edict say the move will cut back a turbulent and seemingly endless transition to democracy, but outraged critics say he has now become a dictator.
(Al-Akhbar, AFP, Reuters)