(CNN) – Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy‘s decree last week giving him a host of new powers has divided society, but it has also unified opposition groups that fear any moves toward Islamic rule, critics and observers said Sunday.
Morsy assures his people that his moves are only temporary and intended to clear the political obstacles posed by remnants of the old regime. An order banning courts from overturning any decisions he has made or will make in the next six months, Morsy says, will last only until a new constitution is put together.
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His critics, however, say Morsy has made himself into a dictator — and that dictators can’t be trusted.
“We, as citizens, no longer have safeguards for our freedoms and rights,” Amr Hamzawy, a former member of parliament and a member of Egypt’s Freedom Party, told CNN on Sunday.Egypt’s Morsy praised, now protested
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Even if Morsy stays true to his word and rescinds the decree after the constitution is finalized, he will have managed to consolidate more power, said Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“By the time you get that new constitution, it will have been written by an Islamist-dominated assembly that all non-Islamists have completely abandoned, and the new parliamentary elections will likely exclude members of the former ruling party who posed the greatest threat to his authority,” Trager told CNN.
Morsy also ordered new trials and new investigations involving the deaths of protesters during last year’s pro-democracy uprising, which Trager said will “very clearly” be used to go after major figures from the former ruling party. Some of them are in fact corrupt, he said, but others may not have been.
Cabinet Chief Mohamed Refa’a al-Tahtawi told CNN on Friday that the majority of Egyptians were eager to see Morsy act with a strong hand to forge progress in a government he says is impeded by former regime members.
Peter Jones, a Middle East expert at the University of Ottawa, says it’s true that many Egyptians are frustrated with the lack of progress, but opponents feel Morsy’s actions are not the answer. FULL ARTICLE