Egypt Crisis: Mohammed Mursi Says New Powers 'Temporary'

by
staff
The office of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has defended a decree giving him sweeping new powers, saying it is temporary and not intended to concentrate power in his hands.

Mohammed Mursi says

The office of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has defended a decree giving him sweeping new powers, saying it is temporary and not intended to concentrate power in his hands.

The decree was intended to prevent democratically elected bodies from being undermined, the statement said.

Mr Mursi was committed to finding "common ground" with other parties.

Thursday's decree led to several days of protests and a big fall in the Egyptian stock market.

"The presidency reiterates the temporary nature of those measures, which are not intended to concentrate power, but to avoid ... attempts to undermine democratically elected bodies and preserve the impartiality of the judiciary," the statement said.

Mr Mursi said he was committed to engaging all political forces to reach common ground on the constitution.

But several prominent opposition leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed elBaradei, have said they will not engage in dialogue with the president until he rescinds his decree.