With protests rocking Egypt and top advisers resigning, President Mohamed Morsi agreed with judicial authorities today to limit the scope of his latest power grab, according to Egyptian media. But he kept one element: the right to stop the courts from dissolving the constitutional council before it drafts a new constitution. Morsi's justice minister, Ahmed Mekki, played a key role by publicly calling for Morsi to back down while brokering an agreement with the nation's top jurists, the New York Times reports.
At issue is the ongoing clash between Morsi's party, the Muslim Brotherhood, and judges appointed under former strongman Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak loyalists have long viewed the Brotherhood as a dangerous, radical sect; Morsi has said that dishonest Mubarak forces are "hiding under the cover of the judiciary" and vowed, "I will uncover them!" But with Egypt's stock market sliding and up to 13 Muslim Brotherhood offices ransacked over the weekend, the president backed off. And his party said it was canceling a major protest planned for tomorrow.