TODAY   |  November 26, 2012

Morsi, judges to meet as Egypt protests boil

Egypt’s President Morsi is expected to meet with the country's top judges after he granted himself sweeping legislative powers, a move opponents say is reverting the country to a dictatorship. NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports from Cairo.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> is still raging in egypt over the president's power graham grab there. nbc eayman mohyeldin is in cairo with the latest on this. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. a few days ago president morrisey of egypt was receiving praise from around the world including u.s. president barack obama for brokering that cease-fire and today he's coming under criticism that puts him in conflict with the top judges that. political fight is spilling over into the streets, claiming lives and plunging the country's economy into turmoil, and more importantly it is threatening the country's post-revolutionary progress. for a fourth straight night protest efforts attacked the offices of president mohamed morsi's freedom and justice party . the political wing of the muslim brotherhood . demonstrators are angry at president morsmorsi's latest decision, one that's reverting the country to a dictatorship.

>> we want a contry of institutions, not symbolized in one person who makes all decisions and nobody can say no.

>> reporter: morsi's decree gave him legislative powers and extended the time to write a new constitution by two months. morsi's decisions are beyond judicial challenge and dismissed the attorney general. now the attorney general backed by the country's powerful judges, many appointed by former dictator hosni mubarak , are fighting back. they have called for a nationwide strike in the courtrooms. president morsi and other islamist parties have blamed egypt 's judiciary for blocking key reforms. it's why president morsi on friday told his mainly islamic supporters he issued the sweeping decree and why many across the country are backing his decision.

>> translator: the president's decisions are good, and we support him. he's working hard and working for the people's interests. we are with him.

>> reporter: but the showdown between the executive and judicial branches of governments has pledged the country's streets and markets into it your mill. today egypt 's stock market lost 4% of its value in the opening minutes of trading. on sunday officials had to suspend trading after the market lost nearly $9 billion or 10% of its value. now the country's political opposition forces are uniting and calling for mass sieve demonstrations on tuesday.

>>> despite the tensions on the streets, there is a little bit of optimism in the air. president morsi will be meeting with some of the judges later today to try and broker some kind of an agreement to get them out of this political crisis, but if not all attention will shift to tuesday when thousands of protesters and opponents of the president are expected to hold competing rallies just a few miles away . it may be some time before calm returns to the street of egypt . matt?

>> ayman mohyeldin in cairo this morning, thank you very much.