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Egyptians to vote on controversial constitution on Dec 15

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The new constitution was drafted by a panel predominated by Islamists, after Liberals, secularists and Christians withdrew from the panel, saying the changes were being forced through.

Egypt plunged into a new crisis last week when Mursi gave himself extensive powers and put his decisions beyond judicial challenge, saying this was a temporary measure to speed country's democratic transition until the new constitution is in place.

Thousands of Mursi's supporters gathered in front of Cairo University yesterday to support the declaration after hundreds of thousands had filled Tahrir square last Tuesday and Friday.

They waited till the draft of the constitution was presented to the president in a ceremony and the date for the referendum announced.

  

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Egyptians to vote on controversial constitution on Dec 15

In a potentially pivotal moment for Egypt, President Mohamed Mursi has decided to hold a referendum on the controversial draft constitution on December 15, a move aimed to defuse opposition fury over his newly expanded powers.

The new constitution was drafted by a panel predominated by Islamists, after Liberals, secularists and Christians withdrew from the panel, saying the changes were being forced through.

Egypt plunged into a new crisis last week when Mursi gave himself extensive powers and put his decisions beyond judicial challenge, saying this was a temporary measure to speed country's democratic transition until the new constitution is in place.

Thousands of Mursi's supporters gathered in front of Cairo University yesterday to support the declaration after hundreds of thousands had filled Tahrir square last Tuesday and Friday.

They waited till the draft of the constitution was presented to the president in a ceremony and the date for the referendum announced.

  
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