President Mohamed Morsy announced on Thursday the appointment of former vice president Mahmoud Mekki as Egypt’s new ambassador to the Vatican. The position was recently handed to the former Prosecutor-General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, who refused the appointment.
The appointment of Mekki comes just a month after his resignation from the position of vice president, a post that was abolished following the constitutional referendum in December. Prior to the ratification of the constitution, Mekki had expressed reservations regarding Morsy’s controversial decrees in November, which effectively granted him near-absolute power and immunity from the Judiciary.
Mekki had said in his resignation letter that Egyptian politics did not suit him, given his background as a judge. He is noted for recording voting violations and election rigging during former president Hosni Mubarak’s tenure, a move that led to lawsuits filed against him by judges loyal to Mubarak.
Since his resignation, Mekki has worked as the chairman of a national dialogue forum sponsored Morsy to consolidate political forces with the current government.
As the ambassador to the Vatican, Mekki will be responsible for fostering goodwill and maintaining an open line of communication. Morsy had originally appointed Meguid Mahmoud to the post last October, effectively removing the prosecutor general from his post. Mahmoud declined the appointment, saying he was never consulted and the president could not remove him.
As a result, Morsy issued his controversial decree, which granted him immunity from judicial oversight and changed the age of retirement for those working in the judiciary, forcing Meguid Mahmoud to step down.