Egypt's president today issued constitutional amendments granting himself far-reaching powers and ordering the retrial of leaders of Hosni Mubarak's regime for the killing of protesters in last year's uprising. Mohamed Morsi decreed immunity for the panel drafting a new constitution from any possible court decisions to dissolve it. He granted the same protection to the upper chamber of parliament, which is largely toothless. Both bodies are dominated by Morsi's Islamist allies.
Several courts are currently looking into cases demanding the dissolution of both bodies. Parliament's lower chamber, also dominated by Islamists, was dissolved in June by a court decision on the grounds that the rules governing its election were illegal. The Egyptian leader also decreed that all decisions he has made since taking office in June and until a new constitution is adopted are not subject to appeal in court or by any other authority, a move that places Morsi above oversight of any kind. He already has legislative powers after the powerful lower chamber was dissolved days before he took office June 30. Click for more.