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Egypt, President Mursi annuls his decree!

QuestCinq News update

December 09, 2012

– Egypt’s main opposition coalition rejected on Sunday Islamist President Mohamed Mursi’s plan for a constitutional referendum this week, saying it risked dragging the country into “violent confrontation”.

Mursi’s decision on Saturday to retract a decree awarding himself wide powers failed to placate opponents who accused him of plunging Egypt deeper into crisis by refusing to postpone the vote on a constitution shaped by Islamists.

“We are against this process from start to finish,” Hussein Abdel Ghani, spokesman of the National Salvation Front, told a news conference, calling for more street protests on Tuesday.

The Front’s main leaders – Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa and leftist Hamdeen Sabahy – did not attend the event.

Hundreds of protesters milled around Mursi’s palace, despite tanks, barbed wire and other barriers installed last week after clashes between Islamists and their rivals killed seven people.

“Holding a referendum now in the absence of security reflects haste and an absence of a sense of responsibility on the part of the regime, which risks pushing the country towards violent confrontation,” a statement from the Front said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled Mursi from obscurity to power, urged the opposition to accept the referendum’s verdict.

Islamists say the vote will seal a democratic transition that began when a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak 22 months ago after three decades of military-backed one-man rule.

Their liberal, leftist and Christian adversaries say the document being fast-tracked through could threaten freedoms and fails to embrace the diversity of Egypt’s 83 million people.(Reuters).

“…But in a midnight news conference, his prime minister said Mr. Morsi was offering concessions that he had appeared to dismiss out of hand a few days before. The president rescinded most of his sweeping Nov. 22 decree that temporarily elevated his decisions above judicial review and drew tens of thousands of protesters into the streets calling for his downfall. He also offered a convoluted arrangement for the factions to negotiate constitutional amendments this week that would be added to the charter after the vote…” (New York Times)

“…“We have broken the barrier of fear: A constitution that axes our rights and freedoms is a constitution we will bring down today before tomorrow,” opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei tweeted shortly after 2 a.m. “Our strength is in our will.” (Washington Post)

 

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