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Egypt’s Mursi annuls controversial decree

Egypt’s Mursi annuls controversial decree

Cairo: Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi has annulled a decree he issued last month expanding his powers, an official told a Cairo news conference.

“The constitutional decree is annulled from this moment,” said Selim al-Awa, an Islamist politician acting as spokesman of a meeting Mursi held earlier with other political leaders.

A referendum on a draft constitution would however still go ahead as planned on December 15, Awa said yesterday, explaining that constitutionally Mursi was unable to change the date.

The two issues — the decree and the referendum — were at the heart of anti-Mursi protests that have rocked Egypt in the past two weeks.

The controversial decree issued November 22 had put Mursi’s decisions beyond judicial review — a high-handed measure fiercely denounced as dictatorial by the opposition.

Opposition leaders demanded it be rescinded and the referendum be scrapped before they entered into any dialogue with Mursi to calm a crisis which exploded into street clashes this week that left seven people dead and hundreds injured.

Egypt’s powerful military had yesterday warned Mursi and the opposition to sit down for talks, otherwise it would take steps to prevent a “disastrous” degradation of the situation.


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