Egypt: Mohammed Morsi Insists ‘I Won’t Be Another Dictator’
Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi has insisted he would not be another dictator as he tried to calm violent opposition to a decree that grants him absolute powers.
As police continued to fight battles with protesters around Tahrir Square in Cairo on Sunday, Mr Morsi issued a statement stressing that the power seizure was only “temporary” and calling for political dialogue.
He also agreed to meet Egypt’s judges on Monday to negotiate a solution to the crisis.
“The presidency reiterates the temporary nature of those measures, which are not intended to concentrate power,” the statement said.
“The presidency stresses its firm commitment to engage all political forces in the inclusive democratic dialogue to reach a common ground.”
Mr Morsi outraged opponents on Thursday, less than 24 hours after winning international praise for negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, by announcing that henceforth all his decisions would be beyond legal challenge.
He also unilaterally cancelled legal challenges to the committee drawing up a new constitution as well as to the upper house of parliament, both of which are dominated by his Muslim Brotherhood backers.
With no lower house of parliament until the new constitution is formed, this decree gave him stronger powers than those of his overthrown predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.