How can you tell your government is really abusing its power? When your own justice minister reigns in protest over your power grab.
Egypt’s Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky has resigned in protest at “an assault” on the judiciary by President Mohamed Mursi’s Islamist backers, a spokesman said on Sunday, underlining mounting tensions between the judiciary and the executive.
Mekky submitted his resignation to Mursi on Saturday, said the spokesman, Ahmed Salam. It followed a protest on Friday by Mursi’s Islamist backers in the Muslim Brotherhood demanding the “purification” of the judiciary.
An outspoken supporter of judicial reform during the rule of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, Mekky was named justice minister in August in the first government appointed by Mursi after his victory in June’s presidential election.
He opposes a proposed law under discussion in the Islamist-dominated parliament that critics say would give the government too much control over the make-up of the judiciary, according to local media reports.
At the time he came to office, Mekky was widely respected as a reformer. But he quickly came under attack from critics who said he had abandoned his principles.
The criticism spiraled in November when Mursi issued a controversial decree which the opposition saw as a power grab. Mekky was caught off guard.
In his resignation letter, Mekky said Friday’s protest showed that Mursi’s allies now agreed with his opponents on the need for him to step down. “Now is the time to realize my wish of lifting this burden from my shoulders,” he wrote.
The last non-Islamists are fleeing Morsi’s side. The camouflage is collapsing and the real face of the Muslim Brotherhood regime is being revealed.