Islamists to rally behind Morsi as Egypt's rifts widen

December 1, 2012 11:32

CAIRO - Islamists planned rallies across Egypt on Saturday in support of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who has rushed through a constitution to try to quench opposition fury over his newly expanded powers.

Morsi was due to ratify the constitution, hastily approved by an Islamist-dominated drafting assembly on Friday, later in the day and to set a date for a referendum on it within 15 days.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested against Morsi on Friday and rival demonstrators threw stones after dark in Alexandria and the Nile Delta town of Al-Mahalla Al-Kobra.

"The people want to bring down the regime," they chanted in Cairo's Tahrir Square, echoing the slogan that rang out there less than two years ago and brought down Hosni Mubarak.

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

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