Egypt opposition calls for protest over constitution

By REUTERS
December 2, 2012 23:57

National Salvation Front condemns "irresponsible" Morsi decision to call referendum over draft constitution.

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Anti Morsi protests in Tahrir Square Nov 27.

Anti Morsi protests in Tahrir Square Nov 27 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

CAIRO - An alliance of Egyptian opposition groups called for protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest against President Mohamed Morsi's decision to call a December 15 referendum on what it called an illegitimate draft constitution.

In a statement issued after a meeting on Sunday, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, the alliance of liberal, leftist and socialist parties accused Morsi of putting the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood - the group that propelled him to power in a June election - ahead of the interests of the nation.

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"The National Salvation Front condemns the irresponsible act by the president of the republic in calling a referendum on an illegitimate constitution that is rejected by a large section of his people," the statement said.

It said Morsi had "broken his promise not to put the constitution to referendum before gaining wide national consensus around it, which did not happen".

It described the text as "the supreme guide's constitution", a reference to the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi called the referendum after formally receiving the final draft of the constitution on Saturday from the Islamist-dominated assembly that drafted it.

Most of the non-Islamist members of the 100-member constituent assembly had withdrawn from the body, saying their voices were not being heard.

The National Salvation Front rallied in opposition to Morsi after his November 22 decree that expanded his powers and shielded his decisions from judicial review.

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