Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has apparently softened an earlier decision to take on near-absolute power, that only some of his acts would be protected from judicial review.
The announcement made by Morsi's spokesman was aimed at quelling criticism of proclamations the first democratically elected President made last week that gave him the power to legislate by decree and without court oversight.
But the spokesman's explanation that only "acts of sovereignty" are immune from courtroom appeal did not immediately satisfy an unlikely coalition of secular forces that has emerged against what its members say is the most serious threat to Egypt's fragile democracy, the Washington Post reports.
According to many experts, the explanation on Egyptian state television that Morsi's powers would not be completely unlimited appeared to be the beginning of political negotiations, not an endpoint.
Many in the opposition quickly said that in their view, little had changed, the Post said.
Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali did not amend the Thursday decrees; he simply said he was clarifying them, it added.
According to the paper, analysts said that the announcement that Morsi's power may have some bounds did not necessarily have immediate practical consequences.
"It has to be politically worked out. It's clearly a way for Morsi to preserve what he really wanted plus to save face," the paper quoted Nathan J. Brown, a professor of political science at George Washington Universit, as saying. (ANI)