CAIRO: After about 11 months of his rule, interim President Adly Mansour has dealt with highly sensitive files and has been both criticized and supported for most of the decrees and decisions he issued.
Some Egyptians had asked him to run for president, some suggested he head the upcoming parliament, and others recommend he become a presidential political and legal advisor.
Mansour has been assigned to be interim president in July 2013 after the Egyptian Army ousted former President Mohamed Morsi from power. Mansour was head of the Supreme Constitutional Court serving as a justice of the SCC since 1992.
The most important decree that sparked heated debates among various political parties and prominent figures is the protest law.
The protest law was issued in November 2013, granting the Ministry of Interior the power to regulate and prohibit public meetings and assembly. The Cabinet sent a final draft of the law on Oct. 10, 2013 to Mansour, who signed it into law on Nov. 24.
Many activists and political powers criticized the law for restricting “public freedoms” and violating international standards.
One of the controversial decrees issued by Mansour last March was granting immunity to the decisions of the Supreme Electoral Commission (SCE).
Many politicians and political powers described the law as “unconstitutional” while others saw it as a good decision within the legal framework, describing it as “logical.”
“Granting immunity to the Supreme Electoral Commission corresponds completely with the law and the constitution,” former head of the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Council Ahmed Medhat al-Maragy said in an interview with Al-Qahira Wal Nas.
The decree opposes article 97 of the constitution, which stated that “any stipulation of immunity of any act or administrative decision from the control of the judiciary is prohibited.”
Deputy head of the Salafist Nour Party Ashraf Thabet said they initially rejected the decree but now believe that such a decision is “logical,” since without it the election process could be impeded, according to Al-Wafd newspaper.
Constitutional jurist Ibrahim Darwish said the presidential elections law contradicts six articles in the constitution and violated two judicial authorities, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
On March 12, Mansour invited several parties to national dialogue to discuss presidential and parliamentary elections laws in response to the criticism around granting immunity to the decisions of the Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC), according to their statement.
Mansour’s decision on January 26 of holding the presidential elections first sparked debate from political figures, including head of National Council for Human Rights George Isaac and certain members of Nour party. A laywer filed a lawsuit, stating that the decree “violates” the roadmap.
One of the essential decrees that were issued by Mansour last January was promoting Sisi to the rank of Field Marshal, the highest rank in the military, making him the ninth Egyptian military leader with this title.
During Mansour’s rule, a new constitution has been adopted with high turnout of voters on the referendum on Jan. 14 and 15, which has been praised by several Human Rights organizations including the Arab Network for Human Rights Information.
On Feb. 24, former Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy announced the resignation of his government and on Feb. 25 President Adly Mansour assigned Ibrahim Mahlab, the former Minister of Housing, to form a new Cabinet.
Mansour approved a law that received widespread criticism and aroused concerns on grounds that only an elected parliament may issue and that it “protects investors at the expense of citizens.”
At the start of May, Mansour approved a law that immunizes state contracts with investors from third party litigation.
A number of NGOs, activists, and human rights groups decided to appeal the new law, finding no difference between this law and the constitutional decree issued by Morsi, which granted him absolute power and aroused public anger against his rule.
Mansour addressed the Egyptians on Sunday May 25 on television, calling on them to vote on Monday and Tuesday. “We start a new phase on the democratic path tomorrow.”