CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi told thousands of supporters that his latest decisions granting himself sweeping powers were meant to stop “weevils” from the former regime from stopping progress.
Morsi’s speech Friday came while thousands of opponents and supporters clashed in the streets over the decree that critics fear allows him to be a virtual dictator.
The decrees exempt him and other bodies from judicial review.
Morsi’s supporters have cast the decrees as temporary measures through the transitional period to prevent supporters of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, including judicial officials, of blocking reform.
“There are weevils eating away at Egypt’s nation,” he said, accusing some judges of planning to disband the upper house of parliament.
Tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters rallied miles away in Tahrir Square.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.