CAIRO - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will address the nation on Thursday, calling for unity as he pushes through a new constitution he hopes will defuse a crisis prompted by his decision to grant himself sweeping powers.
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The assembly tasked with writing the constitution said it was hoping to wrap up a final draft with a view to voting on the document later on Thursday.
But as Morsi's opponents pressed on with their week-old protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, critics said the Islamist-dominated assembly's bid to finish the constitution quickly could make matters worse.
In his speech, Morsi was expected to explain why he had issued his decree and to outline what he saw as conspiracies being planned by his non-Islamist political opponents, officials said. He would also call for national unity.