By Samuel Burke, CNN
A former aide to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy said that no concession had been reached between Morsy and the country’s judges, despite a meeting Monday that appeared to have resulted in an agreement between the two sides.
“It’s not a compromise – it’s a clarification,” Jihad Haddad told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.
Just days after Morsy received international acclaim for helping to broker a truce between Israel and Gaza militants, the Islamist leader has triggered angry demonstrations for an edict, issued Thursday, that effectively allows him to rule the country unchecked by the judicial system, for the next six months, or until a new constitution is finalized.
Haddad insisted that Morsy has tried to compromise with the judiciary, even looking for a “dignified way of promoting [the Prosecutor General] out of office,” but Morsy has been met with opposition from judges who are Mubarak appointees and loyalists.
Haddad said that Morsy has now clarified to the Supreme Judicial Council that his edict is, in part, an attempt to “protect the entity that is creating Egypt’s new constitution.” He hopes Morsy’s proclamation would prevent the judiciary from dissolving the constitutional assembly.
Haddad told Amanpour that Morsy’s edict does not make himself and his decisions immune from judicial oversight or investigational questioning, but insists that rather that it would only keep “presidential decrees” safe from judicial corruption – what he referred to as a “corrupt pocket of the judiciary.”
Haddad says the president’s edict was necessary to keep judges from nullifying presidential moves that are necessary for the country to move closer to democracy – things like writing a constitution, which has been difficult because of interference from judges.
An Egyptian judge told Amanpour, “There is no comprise,” Mohamed al-Zind said, claiming that the judicial branch in Egypt either has independent authority or it does not.
“When you talk about removing a prosecutor general, cementing a way to have a constitution in Egypt and to elect a parliament, this is exactly what he promised,” Haddad said. “It’s surprising when he acted on these promises some opposition forces in Egypt felt he did not have the right to do so, although he is the elected president of Egypt.”
Haddad also confirmed that the million-man march the Muslim Brotherhood had planned for Tuesday had been cancelled – for fear of violence. He added that “perhaps it can happen at a later date” when tensions pose less of a danger.