Military forces outside presidential palace
Photo: EPA
Mohammed Morsi
Photo: AFP

Egypt's Morsi modifies decree

Presidential Office announces decree that grants Morsi more powers will be amended, but referendum to be held on schedule

The Egyptian Presidential Office announced at a press conference on Saturday that it has been decided to amend the constitutional decree granting President Mohammed Morsi more powers, the al-Youm al-Sabaa newspaper reported.


It was nevertheless reported that the referendum on the constitution will be held as planned on December 15.  


Related stories:

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said that President Morsi is preparing to amend a controversial decree in which he assumed sweeping powers.


Morsi tasked six officials who met on Saturday with elements of the opposition to "modify the constitutional declaration" he issued on November 22, Qandil said on private Al-Mihwar television.


They met to draft a new decree and could finalise it late on Saturday or on Sunday morning, he added.


Meanwhile, there are still concerns of a possible flare-up. A top Egyptian security source said Saturday that Morsi's family was evacuated from its home in Zagazig, the capital of the Al Sharqia Governorate in northern Egypt for fear of violent riots. It has also been reported that Morsi himself was evacuated from his official residence.


Earlier on Saturday, Egyptian media reported that Morsi prepared a decree to impose martial law.


Morsi hasn't issued it yet, but the order comes on the heels of the military warning of "disastrous consequences" if the crisis is not resolved.

שלטי מחאה ממלאים את כיכר א-תחריר  (צילום: AFP)

Protest refuses to die down in Cairo (Photo: AFP)


The al-Aharm newspaper reported that the government has allowed armed security forces to assist the police in "maintaining the country's safety and stability" including arresting protesters.


The decision is pending Morsi's approval but signals a new stage in the struggle between the country's new Islamist leader and his secular opponents.


According to al-Ahram, Morsi is slated to announce "the participation of security forces in defending vital national institutions" very soon. The defense minister is slated to determine the extent of the military's role.


An unnamed military official said on television that dialogue is the "best and only" way to settle differences over Morsi's recent power grab and a draft constitution slated for referendum vote next Saturday, reports the New York Times.


"Anything other than (dialogue) will force us into a dark tunnel with disastrous consequences; something which we won't allow," the official said, reports the AP.


Reaching no consensus "is in the interest of neither side," he said. "The nation as a whole will pay the price."


AP and AFP contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 12.08.12, 18:37
 new comment
This will delete your current comment