Egypt’s Mursi rescinds decrees but firm on referendum
Cairo: After weeks of intense protests and street conflicts over controversial edicts granting Egyptian President sweeping powers, Mohammed Mursi on Saturday finally rescinded November 22 decrees, but remained firm on his stance on referendum to be held this week.
The decrees issued by Mursi on November 22 had armed him with almost unrestricted powers, barring judiciary from challenging his decisions.
"The constitutional decree is annulled from this moment," said Mr Mursi’s spokesperson after a meeting held with political and public figures on Saturday.
The meeting was boycotted by the main opposition leaders who are calling for the Dec 15 vote to be cancelled.
But President seems adamant on the December 15 referendum on constitutional draft to go ahead as scheduled.
The constitutional draft that was drafted in hurry despite a boycott by secular and Christian members of the assembly, is at the heart of a political crisis that began Nov. 22 when Mursi granted himself authority without judicial oversight.
Opposition activists are camping outside the presidential palace and are calling for more protests on Sunday.
Tens of thousands of people were drawn into mass rallies onto the streets resulting in fierce bouts of street battles that have left at least six people dead. Several offices of the president`s Muslim Brotherhood also have been torched in the unrest.
Even though annulment of the decree by the President seems to be a positive step but it remains to be seen if the move succeeds in appeasing the opposition and placating the street protests.
As the main topic of discord, that is the controversial constitutional draft, remains as such. People fear that Mursi is trying to impose on them a draft dominated by Islamic law and drafted by Islamists.
With Agency Inputs
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