Skip to main content

Absolute Power: Morsi Decree Stuns Egyptians

President Mohammed Morsi has assumed extensive new powers, testing Egypt’s fragile democracy, Bassem Sabry writes from Cairo.
Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi smiles during a meeting with South Korea's presidential envoy and former Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan (not in picture) at the presidential palace in Cairo October 8, 2012, a day after Mursi's "Al Nhada (Renaissance) project. The project is primarily a economic and social programme comprising of promises the president vowed to fulfil within 100 days of taking office. Mursi has won grudging respect from detractors in his first 100 days by sending the army back to barracks fas

Early this morning, rumors began to float within Egypt’s political scene that President Mohammed Morsi was about to issue some quite radical decisions. A few hours later, a group of Muslim Brotherhood members began amassing at Egypt’s Supreme House Of The Judiciary to apparently show support for the soon-to-be disclosed decisions. We all knew something controversial was about to happen, and some had decent guesses. We just had no idea how controversial it was going to be.

Around 7 p.m. Cairo time, the presidential spokesman finally appeared on television to shatter the anticipation: The president has become the omnipotent leader of Egypt.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.