Morsi rescinds "power grab" decree -- before issuing revised version

The president issued a new decree in which the first article “cancels the constitutional declaration” announced on Nov. 22, spokesman Mohamed Selim al-Awa told a news conference. Last month’s decree had led to protests and deadly violence.

The new decree excluded some elements from the old decree that had angered the opposition, including one article that gave the president broad powers to confront threats to the revolution or the nation, wording that the opposition said gave him arbitrary authority to act.

Another article in the old decree had put beyond legal challenge any decision taken by the president since he took office on June 30 and until a new parliament was elected, a step that can only happen when a new constitution is in place.

Although that article was not repeated, an article in the new decree put “constitutional declarations including this declaration” beyond judicial review.