Tensions remained high in Egypt Monday as protesters clashed with security forces in Cairo and other cities over a decree that granted President Mohamed Morsi wide-ranging powers, namely over the judiciary.
At least 329 demonstrators were detained on rioting charges in downtown Cairo, reported state-run MENA. Over the past week or so, protesters have clashed with security forces around the Interior Ministry building, with some throwing Molotov cocktails and other objects, but the clashes escalated Friday—a day after Morsi issued his decree.
In the central city of Tanta, hundreds of demonstrators attempted to break into the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party headquarters, of which Morsi is a member, causing injury to more than 50 people, reported the Al-Masry Al-Youm publication.
Numerous protesters remained camped in Tahrir Square in Cairo, according to Reuters.
On Monday, Morsi met with several key judges in an attempt to diffuse mounting tensions.
Morsi’s office had said the constitutional decree is only temporary. While meeting with judges Monday, he reiterated such claims.
The decree prevents the dissolution of the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, and the People’s Assembly—the lower house of parliament. It also allows Morsi to appoint a new prosecutor-general, who will reopen cases involving the killing of protesters last year.
With the decree, political opponents and some notable judges have accused Morsi of trying to consolidate power for himself, with some going so far as to claim he is now worse than toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.
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