News / Middle East

Egyptian Opposition to Continue Protests Against Referendum

An anti-Mursi protester walks past graffiti depicting two activists who died recently, at Tahrir Square in Cairo December 10, 2012.
An anti-Mursi protester walks past graffiti depicting two activists who died recently, at Tahrir Square in Cairo December 10, 2012.
VOA News
Despite concrete barricades and a heavy military presence in the Egyptian capital Cairo, opposition leaders say they will keep up the pressure on the president to cancel Saturday's constitutional referendum.
 
The opposition National Salvation Front, led by liberals including Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Moussa, have called on their supporters to march on the presidential palace in Cairo on Tuesday.  

Developments in Egypt

  • November 22: Presidential decree gives Mr. Morsi sweeping powers, protests erupt
  • November 30: Islamist assembly adopts draft constitution
  • December 1: Constitution referendum scheduled for December 15
  • December 2: Judges say they will boycott constitution referendum
  • December 5: Protesters clash outside presidential palace in Cairo
  • December 8: Morsi annuls presidential decree
  • December 10: Morsi gives military authority to arrest civilians
In a statement late Sunday, a National Salvation Front spokesman said the draft constitution does not properly represent the Egyptian people. He said going ahead with a referendum on the document will lead to more confrontation in the country. 

But Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has refused to back down. On Monday, he gave the military authority to arrest civilians as part of a decree to help maintain security for the referendum. The order tasks the military with supporting police to protect "vital institutions."
 
Many secular Egyptians fear the draft constitution will erode civil liberties because it boosts the role of Islamic law and makes no specific mention of women's rights. A constituent assembly dominated by Islamists approved the document last month after liberal and Christian members walked out, complaining that their voices were being ignored. 
 
Some observers say the draft constitution has a good chance of being approved because Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement has a superior ability to mobilize supporters to vote. 
 
Morsi made a concession to the opposition on Saturday by canceling parts of a November 22 decree that granted himself sweeping powers. He made the announcement after a day of talks with other political figures. Most opposition groups boycotted the dialogue. 

  • An army soldier guards his tank in front the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 12, 2012.
  • Children play around protest camp tents in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, December 12, 2012.
  • Army tanks, left, deploy as Egyptian protesters gather outside the presidential palace during a demonstration against President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Protesters chant anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Protesters gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Anti-Morsi protesters shout slogans as they stand on top of a wall in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • People clash with anti-Morsi protesters, after the protesters blocked the gate of a government building near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Anti-Morsi protesters sit outside their tents, below a flag that reads, "No, to Constitution," Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, December 10, 2012.
  • Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.
  • Protesters push army soldiers standing guard in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.
  • Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.
  • Soldiers stand guard on top of a tank in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.

Morsi also said that if the draft constitution is rejected in Saturday's referendum, he will call elections for a new constituent assembly to draft another charter that will be put to a popular vote. 
 
The president removed provisions of the November 22 decree that shielded all of his decisions from judicial review. Opposition groups had complained that the original measure gave the president dictatorial powers. 
 
But Morsi's Saturday decree said the courts remain barred from challenging his "constitutional declarations." 
 
Mohammed ElBaradei sent out a tweet Sunday saying the fight against the new constitution is about the "essence of the state, universal rights and values, and looking forwards, not backwards." 
 
On Saturday, Egypt's military made its first public comment on the political crisis, urging both sides to resolve political differences through dialogue.  It warned that continued confrontation risks plunging Egypt into a "dark tunnel leading to catastrophe" and vowed "not to allow" such an outcome.
 
Egyptian troops set up concrete barriers outside the presidential palace Sunday to prevent rival groups of liberals and Islamists from holding further rallies at the site. Street battles between the two sides have killed seven people in the capital in recent days. 

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ali baba from: new york
December 11, 2012 3:39 AM
the problem in Egypt yield no effect on Egyptian Muslim brotherhood nor American policy maker . it seems that both refuse to understand.Despite Egypt in the news for one year the condition is deteriorating, and a Muslim gov who declare that us is a public enemy no1. the Obama administration is giving one billion dollar and allow Egyptian gov to purchase airplane fighter. what is the purpose to supply Egypt with military equipment . is that good for next middle east. or using these military equipment to kill the infidel in Egypt the Christian.


by: johnsmith from: knoxville
December 10, 2012 11:21 PM
This will happen here soon. I hope they'll have enough room in the FEMA camps for all of us

http://theconspiratorknoxville.blogspot.com/


by: markjuliansmith from: Canberra
December 10, 2012 3:47 PM
"..liberal and Christian members walked out, complaining that their voices were being ignored."

Egyptian Liberals etc have to ask themselves what the promises of Iranian Islamists to protect Other meant in the long run.

It is amazing how similar a secular doctrine to a religious doctrine of suppression of Other; how Other is defined as evil and and due to Others innate nature inevitably subject to grievous harm and severest penalty.

Yet one is rightly suppressed and the other able to spread its dogma of hate without censure. Incredibly those who point this out are censured - so it was in the 1930s.

Change the foundation text or change nothing.


by: ThomHH from: Washington, DC
December 10, 2012 11:10 AM
Morsi is like a three-year-old looking for one more way around the rules! It does not bode well for Egyptian democracy to have an infant in charge.


by: Stephen Real from: Columbia, USA
December 10, 2012 10:57 AM
Hey Senator John Kerry, Amb. Susan Rice, US Congress, etc.,etc,etc...Why are you not taking Herr Morsi out too the woodshed? He deserves a serious public dress down.


by: Michael Collins from: Oakland, California
December 10, 2012 10:48 AM
It's hard to imagine a stable political system when the constitutional structure only requires 51%. Every time there's another election, their constitution could be rewritten or revoked.

Better to require at least 60%. You wouldn't be able to pass as many constitutional rules, but those you could pass would have broader appeal.

The Islamist have come to power partially as a result of many not-so-Islamists who want to see an end to military rule and corruption.

If they don't maintain their coalition, they may find that in the next election their secular brothers decide to vote for military rule--deciding that's preferable to living in a theocratic state.

If the 51% can subject everyone to their rules, then when someone else comes to power, they will use the same logic and may wash away everything that you've done.


by: ali baba from: new york
December 10, 2012 9:53 AM
it is over .moersi made has made his mind such as bashier in Sudan ,mullah Omar in Afghanistan. I will not surprise that each one in Egypt is going to kill each other. I will not surprise that large scale of instability will cause serious war in middle east . the prophecy of666 is about to fulfill . now you can figure out who is 666


by: Edo from: New Mexico
December 10, 2012 9:33 AM
Was religion created by man to subjugate women? I think they should reverse sharia law to apply to men and see how religious they remain.


by: Steve Martin from: Edison NJ
December 10, 2012 8:06 AM
What we need to do is shut down voice of america to save money. This Government service is no longer needed . It will help reduce the deficit. Private enterprise already fills this slot.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid