Egypt's Morsi Backs Away From New Power Grab

But he vows to maintain one extra power

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2012 3:31 PM CST

(Newser) – 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.

Egyptian protesters clash with security forces, not pictured, near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012.
Egyptian protesters clash with security forces, not pictured, near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa)
In this Friday, July 13, 2012 file photo, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to reporters at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt.
In this Friday, July 13, 2012 file photo, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to reporters at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)
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