Morsi sparks controversy with new Egypt decree

  • Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sparked controversy on Thursday after issuing a decree likely to result in the retrials of Hosni Mubarak and his aides but which ultimately drew comparisons to the ousted leader's autocratic leadership.

    The declaration also states that no court can dissolve the constituent assembly, which is writing up a new constitution.

    Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed El-Baradei accused Morsi of behaving like a "new pharaoh".

    The decree also said that all decisions made by Morsi until the election of a new parliament were exempt from legal challenge.

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

    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.

    The decree also gave the body an extra two months to complete its work, which means the drafting process could carry on until February, consequently delaying new elections.