The Straits Times
Published on Nov 23, 2012

Egypt's Morsi assumes sweeping powers, branded new pharoah


CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi assumed sweeping powers on Thursday, drawing criticism he was seeking to be a "new pharoah" and raising questions about the gains of last year's uprising to oust Hosni Mubarak.

The move is a blow to the pro-democracy movement that toppled the long-time president, himself derided by many as a pharoah, and raises concerns that Islamists will be further ensconced in power.

And while there were demonstrations in the capital in support of Mr Morsi, other people turned out to denounce what one feared was the advent of another dictator.

"The President can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution," according to a decree read out on television by presidential spokesman Yasser Ali.