Egyptians Protest Presidential Decree
(CAIRO) — The birthplace of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, Tahrir Square, was filled once again on Sunday with protesters calling for the downfall of another Egyptian president.
For the third straight day, activists opposed to President Mohammed Morsi demanded that he reverse a sweeping presidential decree that bars the country’s courts from challenging any of his decisions.
Morsi insists his decree is solely aimed at speeding up Egypt’s transition to a democracy and bringing accountability to those accused of crimes while serving under former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
Opponents feel Morsi now has near-absolute power with no legislative or judiciary body to keep him in check.
According to Voice of America, a spokesman for Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party said the decree will likely last for “two months, maybe less.”
A State Department spokesperson said Morsi’s decree raised concerns and reminded the Egyptian leader that one of the goals of the revolution was “to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution.”
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Arizona Sen. John McCain blasted Morsi’s presidential declaration as “unacceptable.”
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the U.S. should exercise caution.
During an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Levin said, “We don’t obviously want to see a democratically-elected autocrat take the place of an undemocratically-elected dictator, which was the case before that.”
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