Near the end of Novemberg, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree granting himself sweeping powers to implement law.Since then Egypt has been wracked by a gigantic protests, that are outwardly reminiscent of the protests that brought down Mubarak (with whom Morsi is increasingly drawing comparisons).
In a late night move, Morsi seems to have reversed part of his proposed changes.
The news is being reported by multiple outlets, including Egypt’s Ahram Online:
Islamic scholar Selim El-Awa, a member of Egypt’s National Dialogue, announced that president Mohamed Morsi had called off the controversial decree he issued last month.
However, he said the referendum on a newly-draft constitution, slated for 15 December, will go ahead as scheduled.
The catch there is the referendum on the constitution, which is perceived by protesters to be drafted in an undemocratic Manner.
Al-Arabiya has the snap reaction of opposition figures:
The two issues –the decree and the referendum – were at the heart of anti-Mursi protests that have rocked Egypt in the past two weeks.
Gamal Fahmi, member of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, told Al Arabiya that those who took part in talk with Mursi represented themselves only, adding that the new constitutional declaration did not address the “fundamental” problem, which he said was in the assembly that was tasked to draft the constitution.
George Isaac, activist and member of the Constitution Party, also told Al Arabiya that Mursi’s declaration did not offer anything news. “The ceiling of the people’s demands is very high, and this constitutional declaration does not answer people’s demands.”
Bottom line: It looks like the temporary powergrab is off, but there’s a big constitutional overhaul coming that still has the opposition furious.