Morsi Cancels Decree, But Will It Be Enough
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has canceled a decree that had allowed him to run the country unchecked.
Updated 9:15p ET from CNN.com:
Cairo (CNN) – Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy early Sunday canceled most of a controversial decree that gave him sweeping powers, but vowed to press forward with a planned referendum next weekend on a draft constitution, an adviser said.
The move is an apparent attempt to end a political crisis that has spilled into the streets, pitting the president’s supporters and opponents against one another and raising questions about Morsy’s ability to lead the fragile democracy.
It was not immediately clear whether the offer, as announced by adviser Mohamed Selim el-Awwa, would be enough to mollify the opposition.
The development came after a meeting at the presidential palace that many in the opposition boycotted.
Egyptian authorities said at least six people have been killed in violent clashes in recent days, while the Muslim Brotherhood — the group that backs Morsy — has said eight of its members were killed.
The crisis erupted in late November when Morsy issued the edict allowing himself to run the country unchecked until a new constitution was drafted, a move that sat uncomfortably with many Egyptians who said it reminded them of ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
Morsy had said the powers were necessary and temporary. But that promise did little to quiet the opposition.
Anger at Morsy’s move led to protesters reoccupying Tahrir Square, the scene of the Arab Spring uprising that saw Mubarak ousted in 2011. Thousands later protested outside the palace, where the opposition clashed with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The anger only grew when the Islamist-dominated Constitutional Assembly pushed through a draft despite the objections of the secular opposition, including some members who walked out in protest. Tens of thousands of protesters — for and against Morsy — took to the streets.
A coalition of Egyptian Islamic parties, including the Brotherhood, rejects any postponement in the constitutional referendum, the Islamic Forces Alliance announced Saturday on the Brotherhood website.by