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presidential decisions

Egypt’s stock market sees a plunge in its shares of almost 10% on Sunday, days after President Mohammed Mursi granted himself sweeping new powers.

Protests against Mohammed Mursi’s decision have continued in Cairo, while the Muslim Brotherhood is planning rallies backing him later.

Trading was suspended for 30 minutes as shares slumped in the first session since the president’s announcement.

But the slide continued as soon as share dealing resumed.

Renewed clashes broke out in Cairo on Sunday morning between protesters and security forces in a street leading to Tahrir Square. Trails of tear gas could be seen in the square itself.

Stones were thrown close to the US embassy, but because concrete blocks had been erected in the area the situation was less tense than before, Mena news agency reported.

The barriers had been put up to secure key Egyptian government and parliamentary buildings, Mena added.

According to President Mohammed Mursi’s decree, announced on Thursday, no authority can revoke presidential decisions.

There is also a bar on judges dissolving the assembly which is drawing up a new constitution.

Mohammed Mursi sacked chief prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, who was first appointed by ex-president Hosni Mubarak.

Maguid Mahmoud’s replacement, Talaat Ibrahim, has been given the job of re-examining all investigations into the deaths of protesters when Hosni Mubarak was in power.

Egypt’s judges denounced the decree on Saturday as an “unprecedented attack” on the judiciary, and the Judges’ Club that represents them called for “the suspension of work in all courts and prosecution administrations”.

Twenty-two rights groups signed an open letter which said the president “has dealt a lethal blow to the Egyptian judiciary” and demanded that the decree should be revoked immediately.

Egypt's stock market sees a plunge in its shares after President Mohammed Mursi granted himself sweeping new powers

Egypt’s stock market sees a plunge in its shares after President Mohammed Mursi granted himself sweeping new powers

Opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei had earlier complained that the president had “usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh”.

But the president’s measures have also prompted his supporters to come out on to the streets and there were clashes on Saturday as pro-Mursi demonstrators tried to disrupt an emergency Judges Club meeting.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Mohammed Mursi’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) party, has called for further demonstrations in support of the decree after sunset.

The Islamist movement has called for a one-million-man march to be held at Abdin Square on Tuesday.

President Mohammed Mursi’s decree:

  • All investigations into killing of protesters or use of violence against them to be held again; trials of those accused also to be re-held
  • All constitutional declarations, laws and decrees made since Mohammed Mursi assumed power cannot be appealed or cancelled
  • Public prosecutor to be appointed by president for 4-year fixed term and aged at least 40
  • Constituent assembly’s timeline for drafting new constitution extended by two months
  • No judicial authority can dissolve constituent assembly or upper house of parliament (Shura Council)
  • President authorized to take any measures to preserve revolution, national unity or safeguard national security

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