Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court has lashed out at President Mohamed Morsi, accusing him of participating in a campaign against the court as tensions between the president and parts of the country’s judicial body escalate.
“The really sad thing that has pained the members of this court is when the president of the republic joined, in a painful surprise, the campaign of continuous attack on the Constitutional Court,” the court’s spokesman Maher Samy said in a news conference on Wednesday.
The court’s spokesman further denied the accusations that the court is filled with officials loyal to the ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak’s regime or judges with a political agenda.
“It wasn’t true or honest to claim that the judges of the Constitutional Court are chosen from among those who have a specific political direction or are the previous regime’s allies,” Samy said.
“The court won’t be terrorized by threats or blackmail and will not submit to any pressure on it in any direction,” he added.
On November 22, Morsi issued a constitutional declaration that sweepingly expanded the Egyptian president’s powers.
The decree paves the way for the retrials of officials involved in the clampdown on the massive demonstrations that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.
During his speech on November 23, Morsi also charged the court of leaking verdicts before the formal date of their announcement, saying it is “strange” how people find out about the rulings before they are even issued.
Since last Friday, protesters have held large demonstrations against Morsi’s recent constitutional declaration. A number of the protests turned violent as clashes erupted between anti-riot forces and outraged demonstrators.
On Tuesday, an Egyptian protester lost his life and about a hundred people were injured after clashes broke out in the capital Cairo.