Morsi Rescinds Extra Powers

But referendum on constitution remains on track
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2012 5:04 PM CST
Egyptian protesters outside the presidential palace, background, under a banner with a defaced picture of President Mohammed Morsi.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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(Newser) – Egypt's Mohamed Morsi budged on one of two key opposition demands today, but whether it's enough to appease protesters remains to be seen. Morsi rescinded the temporary extra powers that he granted himself last month, but he kept the referendum on a draft constitution on track for Dec. 15, reports al-Jazeera. Those two issues have led to weeks of protests across the country. Morsi's critics want the referendum delayed because they think the proposed constitution is biased against them.

Earlier today, a state-sponsored newspaper reported that Morsi was beginning preparations to declare martial law. After that, however, the military stepped into the controversy for the first time by calling for "serious" dialogue between the government and opposition. Reuters sees the military message as taking a swipe both at protesters for the current demonstrations and at Morsi for convening talks today absent key opposition leaders. (Read more Egypt stories.)

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