President annuls decree that expanded his powers but insists referendum on constitution will go ahead as scheduled.
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2012 04:06
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has annulled a decree he issued last month expanding his powers, an official told a Cairo news conference.
A referendum on a draft constitution would however still go ahead as planned on December 15, said Selim al-Awa, an Islamist politician acting as spokesman of a meeting Morsi held earlier on Saturday with other political leaders.
The constitutional decree is annulled from this moment," al-Awa said.
Harvard associate professor Tareq Masoud tells Al Jazeera that the opposition's refusal of dialogue was an 'error'
The decree and the referendum were at the heart of anti-Morsi protests that have rocked Egypt in the past two weeks. At least seven people have been killed in the unrest, as demonstrators opposing and supporting Morsi clashed near the presidential palace.He said that constitutionally, Morsi was unable to change the date for the referendum. But he added that, if the draft constitution were rejected, a new one would be drawn up by officials elected by the people, rather than ones chosen by parliament as for the current text.