CAIRO - Egypt's chief public prosecutor, forced to quit this week after opposition protests, retracted his resignation on Thursday, setting the stage for more turmoil as the nation votes in a referendum on its political future.

Prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim, appointed by President Mohamed Morsi when he assumed sweeping new powers last month, said he had changed his mind because his resignation on Monday had been offered under duress.

Ibrahim had quit after more than 1,000 members of his staff gathered at his office in Cairo to demand that he step down. Morsi's decision to appoint Ibrahim, instead of leaving the appointment to judicial authorities, threatened the independence of the judiciary, the angered prosecutors said.

Ibrahim described his removal from office as "mysterious and abnormal" and said it was now up to the justice minister to decide on his future, according to the state-run al-Ahram news website.

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