Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s recent controversial decree is regarded by many citizens of the country as a move to rein in the country’s judicial system, which has failed to meet the expectations of the revolutionaries.
In fact, Morsi used his constitutional authority and dismissed Egypt’s Mubarak-era prosecutor general, Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, in order to realize the objectives of the revolution.
The presidential decree was a clear signal to the remnants of the regime of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in the judicial system. Over the few past months, the judiciary has repeatedly rejected or ignored popular calls for the prosecution of prominent Mubarak-era officials who are charged with orchestrating attacks on peaceful protesters.
The judiciary was also posing a serious threat to the process of drafting the Egyptian constitution. Influential figures in the system could have dissolved the parliament sooner or later, and such a measure would have undermined the efforts to realize the objectives of the revolution. Thus, Morsi used his legal authority to outmaneuver the judiciary and thus protected the parliament from any potential plots along those lines.
However, there has been some outrage over Morsi’s decision, especially among secular and liberal groups. Some of these groups have expressed concern that Morsi is concentrating power in his own hands and there is a danger that Egypt could go from one type of dictatorship to another type of authoritarianism.
As a result of this divergence of opinion, there has been a massive wave of street protests, with bloody clashes between supporters and opponents of the new presidential decree. However, it seems that the revolutionaries are determined to support Morsi’s decision because it could pave the way for the fruition of the revolution.
Mojtaba Amani is the director of the Iranian Interests Section in Cairo.
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