Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi appears to be softening a decision to grant himself sweeping new powers.
After a meeting with senior judges, a spokesman for Mursi says only presidential decisions related to “sovereign” matters would be protected from judicial review.
As protests continue in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, anger still remains over the decrees that put the presidency above the law.
One resident told euronews: “This kind of declaration is a violation against our judicial authorities. Judges, lawyers, the people and political movements; all of them are against this decision.
Another man was even more explicit: “We’re asking the president to cancel these decrees. If he does not respond, we will continue our demonstrations until he resigns and we would like to remind him that it took only 18 days to oust Hosni Mubarak. In Mursi’s case we can do it in just seven days.”
The main Islamic party, the Muslim Brotherhood, has called off a planned mass rally for Tuesday.
Leaders hope to avoid a repeat of clashes seen over the weekend that saw one person killed and around 370 injured.
The stock market is down more than seven per cent since the new decrees were announced.
The president’s political opponents have accused him of behaving like a dictator and there has been international concern about further unrest.
But Mursi maintains the powers will help speed up reforms and complete a transformation to democracy.
Mohammed Shaikhibrahim, our correspondent in Cairo said:
“Tahrir Square, the heart of the Egyptian revolution that ended the Mubarak regime is rising up again, repeating the scenes of 25th January 2011. The names have been changed but the demands are the same, amid a sense that the revolution is still yet to achieve its goals.”