Printed on: November 27, 2012

Egypt leader stands by his power decree


CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's president told the country's top judges Monday that he did not infringe on their authority when he seized near absolute powers, setting up a prolonged showdown on the eve of a mass protest planned by opponents of the Islamist leader.

An aide to President Mohammed Morsi said the decree was limited to "sovereignty-related issues," but that did not satisfy his critics.

The uncompromising stance came during a meeting between Morsi and members of the Supreme Judiciary Council in a bid to resolve a four-day crisis that has plunged the country into a new round of turmoil with clashes between the two sides that have left one protester dead and hundreds wounded.

The judiciary, the main target of Morsi's edicts, also has pushed back, calling the decrees a power grab and an "assault" on the branch's independence.