Egypt Will Conduct Referendum On Draft Constitution Dec 15

on December 01 2012 11:49 PM

Egypt's controversial draft constitution will be put to a referendum Dec. 15, President Mohammed Morsi announced at a meeting of the country's Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly Saturday.Charged with creating a new Constitution of Egypt, the assembly OK'd the document's provisions in a marathon session stretching from Thursday to Friday.Both the draft constitution and a Nov. 22 decree giving Morsi sweeping new powers have led to major demonstrations by the president's political opponents, as noted by BBC News.However, Morsi's political supporters held their own well-attended demonstrations Saturday, with Reuters reporting at least 200,000 of them rallied in Cairo alone.Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, the country's highest judicial authority, is supposed to decide Sunday on the legitimacy of the Constituent Assembly. It is unclear whether Morsi would honor its ruling, given the content of his Nov. 22 decree. It is also unclear whether a court decision to disband the assembly would have any effect on the president's plan for a referendum on the draft constitution.In any case, Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the president's political opponents, tweeted Saturday: "Morsi put to referendum a draft constitution that undermines basic freedoms & violates universal values. The struggle will continue."

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