Egypt in Uproar as Morsi Seizes New Powers

The issuance of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s decree excempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new constitution is drafted has caused uproar in Cairo and raised concerns for the international community.

Reports say thousands are protesting in Egypt and many of his opponents were furious. Many also reportedly named him the new Hosni Mubarak.

In her remarks in Washington DC, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community.

“One of the aspirations of the revolution was to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution.”– Ms. Clinton

Mohamed Morsi Isa ElAyyat is the fifth and current President of Egypt.

She says the current constitutional vacuum in Egypt can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that includes checks and balances, and respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law consistent with Egypt’s international commitments.

The US calls for calm and encourage all parties to work together.

“I call for all Egyptians to resolve their differences over these important issues peacefully and through democratic dialogue.”– Ms. Clinton

In June this year, Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, was declared the new president of Egypt.

Egypt’s Higher Presidential Elections Commission announced the results of the 16-17 June run-off poll earlier Sunday. The run-off reportedly declared Mohamed Morsi garnered a majority of the votes against ex-prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

Mr. Morsi defeated Mr. Shafiq by more than almost 900,000 votes, with 51.7 per cent of the vote, compared to 48 per cent for Mr. Shafiq.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the conclusion of Egypt’s presidential election process following the release of official results

Mr. Ban commended the Egyptian people for the peaceful atmosphere in which these elections were held.

Mr. Ban congratulated Dr. Mohamed Morsi on his election and said he trusted the President-elect to spare no effort in ensuring the people of Egypt realize their aspirations for greater democracy, the promotion of human rights, and a more prosperous and stable Egypt for all of its citizens.

The elections were the first presidential election since the toppling of the long-standing regime of Hosni Mubarak amid popular protests in January 2011, and widely seen as a key element of the country’s transition to greater democracy.

In May this year, with the hope of regaining the country’s stability after the revolution, Egyptians headed to the polls to cast their ballots in the country’s first free vote for a leader in 5,000 years of history.

Around 50 million eligible Egyptian voters were called to choose 13 candidates.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at the time that the United States was looking forward to working with Egypt’s democratically elected government as the Egyptian people concluded a historic two days of voting in the first round of their presidential election, marking another important milestone in their transition to democracy.

Ms. Clinton said the United States will continue to stand with the Egyptian people as they work to seize the promise of last year’s uprising and build a democracy that reflects their values and traditions, respects universal human rights, and meets their aspirations for dignity and a better life.

In February 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States stood ready to provide assistance to Egypt to advance its efforts. Secretary Clinton announced $150 million budget to assist Egypt in its economic recovery after the turmoil.

Earlier this year, President Obama also proposed a $1 billion cancellation of Egyptian debt to support Egypt’s economic recovery.

Egypt has made progress on human rights since the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Long-standing regimes were toppled by a wave of pro-democracy protests that have engulfed much of North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, particularly in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.