On the heels of President Barack Obama praising Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for Mr. Morsi’s “efforts to pursue a de-escalation” between Israel and Hamas, Deputy National Security adviser Ben Rhodes told USA Today, Mr. Morsi gave himself dictator status in Egypt as he usurped powers that positions him above the opposition leader and judiciary. According to AFP:
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has become a “new pharaoh” by assuming sweeping powers on Thursday that places him above judicial oversight, opposition figure and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said.
“Morsi today usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh. A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences,” ElBaradei wrote on his Twitter account.
The Associated Press reported earlier on Thursday that Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood president “effectively neutralized a judicial system that had emerged as a key opponent by declaring that the courts are barred from challenging his decisions.” :
Riding high on U.S. and international praise for mediating a Gaza cease-fire, Mohammed Morsi put himself above oversight and gave protection to the Islamist-led assembly writing a new constitution from a looming threat of dissolution by court order.
But the move is likely to fuel growing public anger that he and his Muslim Brotherhood are seizing too much power.
In what was interpreted by rights activists as a de facto declaration of emergency law, one of Morsi’s decrees gave him the power to take “due measures and steps” to deal with any “threat” to the revolution, national unity and safety or anything that obstructs the work of state institutions.
According to the AP Morsi said he took these actions to sustain the revolution that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak almost two years ago. Furthermore, the Egyptian courts were accused by Morsi supporters of being packed with judges and prosecuters sympathetic to Mubarak.