Egypt: Mohamed Morsi calls December referendum on constitution
Source: the observer
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has announced a snap referendum on a new constitution that has already deepened divisions in a country still struggling to find its identity more than a year after it emerged from Hosni Mubarak's rule.
Morsi, who has triggered a fresh crisis in Egypt by assuming sweeping powers and pushing the constitution through an Islamist-dominated assembly, called the 15 December vote after tens of thousands of his loyalists rallied in support of the document.
Opposition leaders have condemned the constitution, saying its basis in Islamic laws could undermine women's rights and freedom of speech. Mohamed ElBaradei called it a violation of universal values and vowed that the struggle against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood would continue.
Earlier, an estimated 50,000 people congregated near Cairo University, many bussed in from the countryside to show their support for the president and sharia law. Members of the president's Muslim Brotherhood were joined by large numbers of their Salfi Muslim allies.