An Egyptian appeals court ordered a Hosni Mubarak-era public prosecutor be restored to his post after he was fired by President Mohamed Mursi, in the latest setback for the Islamist leader.
Mursi removed Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud in November as part of an expansion of his powers that triggered a new wave of protests and brought the president into conflict with the judiciary. The court ordered the justice minister to immediately return Mahmoud to his post, as the opposition has demanded -- a step that would require the removal of the Mursi appointee who replaced him.
The ruling “is a slap from the Egyptian judiciary to the president,” Emad Gad, deputy director of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and a senior official with a secular party, said by phone. “The state of law and institutions is still functioning” despite efforts by Mursi to undermine it, he said.
Mursi has already retreated from measures he announced to increase taxes and impose emergency rule in some regions as he struggles to end unrest that has persisted since Mubarak’s ouster in 2011.
The president’s plan for April elections has also been blocked by a court ruling. Mursi said late yesterday that the parliamentary vote, which he argues is key to stabilizing the nation, may now be held in October and the new legislature seated by the end of the year.
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