Egypt's top court says suspends work indefinitely to protest presidential decree

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on December 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 2 at 4:04 PM

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's political crisis appears to be worsening, as the nation's top court suspended its work today.

Islamist demonstrators carrying banners denouncing the Supreme Constitutional Court prevented judges from entering the courthouse today. The judges had been expected to rule on the legitimacy of the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament.

In a statement, the court said the scene outside the court left judges fearing for their safety, and described it as "the Egyptian judiciary's blackest day on record."

The struggle between the judiciary and President Mohammed Morsi and his allies began when Morsi issued decrees last month that gave him sweeping powers and granted the president — and the constitutional committee — immunity from the courts.

The Islamist-dominated panel drafting the new constitution then held a hurried vote last week on the charter's 236 clauses without the participation of liberal and Christian members.

That triggered opposition rallies which drew as many as 200,000 people into Cairo's streets. Yesterday, Morsi's supporters countered with a 100,000-strong rally, voicing their support for the president and the draft constitution.

Opposition parties and activists have called for a march on the presidential palace Tuesday, calling it a "last warning."

%@AP Links

089-c-14-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"a power grab"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports Egypt's highest court has put off a ruling on the country's new constitution. (2 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *089 (12/02/12)>> 00:14 "a power grab"

087-v-29-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--Egypt's highest court has put off a ruling on a new constitution. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo. (2 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *087 (12/02/12)>> 00:29

088-c-14-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"political crisis here"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports Egypt's Supreme Court has been forced to postpone a ruling on a new constitution. (2 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *088 (12/02/12)>> 00:14 "political crisis here"

136-r-07-(Sound of protesters chanting, outside Egypt's Supreme Court)--Sound of supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chanting as they surround the Egypt's Supreme Court, denouncing the judges and preventing members of the judiciary from entering the Cairo courthouse. ((Mohammed Morsi is pronounced moh-HAH'-mehd MOR'- (2 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *136 (12/02/12)>> 00:07

137-r-09-(Sound of protesters chanting in Arabic, 'we will prosecute the thieves', outside Egypt's Supreme Court)--Sound of supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chanting in Arabic, 'we will prosecute the thieves,' as they protest outside Egypt's Supreme Court. ((Mohammed Morsi is pronounced moh-HAH'-mehd MOR'-see)) (2 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *137 (12/02/12)>> 00:09

GRAPHICSBANK: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi protest in front of Egypt top court, Cairo, drawing with EGYPT PROTEST lettering on texture, finished graphic (2 Dec 2012)

APPHOTO CAI102: A demonstrator chants slogans as several thousand supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi surrounded the Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday to prevent the judges from entering and ruling on the legitimacy of the nation's Islamist-dominated constituent assembly, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. A ruling from the court was postponed — but regardless of which way it goes — would be a direct challenge to Morsi, who last month gave himself near absolute powers, placing himself and the assembly above any oversight, including by the judiciary. (AP Photo/Ahmad Hammad) (1 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI102 (12/01/12)>>

APPHOTO NM102: People wave Egyptian flags and hold a large poster with the portrait of President Mohammed Morsi, center, during a rally near Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. More than 100,000 Islamists waved Egyptian flags and hoisted portraits of President Mohammed Morsi in rallies nationwide Saturday to support his efforts to rush through a new draft constitution despite widespread opposition by secular activists and some in the judiciary.(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty) (1 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO NM102 (12/01/12)>>

APPHOTO CAI117: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi rally in front of Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Tens of thousands of people waving Egyptian flags and hoisting large pictures of the president are demonstrating across Egypt Saturday in support of Morsi and Islamic law. The rally, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, is seen as a test of strength for Islamists seeking to counteract large opposition protests held this past week by liberal and secular groups who the Brotherhood say do not represent the vast majority of Egyptians. (AP Photo/Mohammed Asad) (1 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI117 (12/01/12)>>

APPHOTO NN101: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans as riot police, left, stand guard in front of the entrance of Egypt's top court, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. Egypt's top court announced on Sunday the suspension of its work indefinitely to protest "psychological and physical pressures," saying its judges could not enter its Nile-side building because of the Islamist president's supporters gathered outside. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) (2 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO NN101 (12/02/12)>>

APPHOTO NN106: Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans in front of Egypt's top court, background, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. Egypt's top court announced on Sunday the suspension of its work indefinitely to protest "psychological and physical pressures," saying its judges could not enter its Nile-side building because of the Islamist president's supporters gathered outside. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) (2 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO NN106 (12/02/12)>>

Print
Email
|