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Egypt judges push for national strike over Morsi decree

  • Egypt's judges are for a nationwide strike in protest of a decree issued by President Mohammed Morsi granting himself sweeping new powers.

    Following an emergency meeting on Saturday, the judges union called on Morsi to withdraw the decree they have labeled as an "unprecedented attack" on the judiciary. In defence, Morsi has said he is leading the country to "freedom and democracy".

    The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that supports Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, has called for demonstrations across the country throughout the day, according to state news agency Mena.

    The decree states presidential decisions cannot be revoked by any authority and that no court can dissolve the constituent assembly, which is writing up a new constitution.

    The decree garnered immediate praise from Morsi's allies but raised fears among secular Egyptians that the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies are seeking to dominate a post-revolution Egypt.

    Opposition leader Mohammed El-Baradei has accused Morsi of behaving like a "new pharaoh".

    The constitution is vital to Egypt's transition to democracy. New parliamentary elections cannot be held until the document is completed and passed by a popular referendum.

    Morsi became the fifth president of Egypt in June, more than a year after protests led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.