Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] swore Monday to preserve the independence of the judicial system despite protests by Islamist groups to remove thousands of judges. Morsi issued a statement [Reuters report] after emergency talks on Monday with the Supreme Judicial Council and the prosecutor general. Morsi's statement comes after Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki resigned [JURIST report] Sunday in response to both supporters and opponents calling for his resignation. The statement from Morsi failed to mention whether the divisive judicial reform law proposed by the Islamist Wasat Party [party website, in Arabic] would go through the upper house of parliament on Wednesday as previously scheduled.
Egypt has been plagued by continuing political turmoil since the beginning of its revolution [JURIST backgrounder]. Last month, the country's Supreme Administrative Court referred [JURIST report] the newly passed electoral law to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review, thereby delaying parliamentary elections originally set to begin on April 22. In September the Egyptian Ministry of Justice brought charges [JURIST report] against former culture minister Farouq Hosni for corruption. He has been accused of illegally obtaining 27 million Egyptian pounds (USD $4.5 million) during his term as culture minister under the ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile; JURIST news archive].