Egypt’s opposition rejects Morsi’s compromise

LONDON – Egypt’s opposition has rejected an offer of compromise by President Mohammed Morsi to end the country’s crisis over a new constitution ‘as an empty show’ and called for mass protests on Tuesday.

Protestors rallied around the presidential palace, as leaders of the liberal and secular opposition to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood set up a final showdown before Saturday’s referendum on the constitution.

According to the Telegraph, Morsi had agreed on Saturday to drop a constitutional decree giving himself powers beyond judicial scrutiny.

But he replaced it with a new one that insisted the referendum would go ahead, despite calls for a delay, the report said.

A moderate Islamist politician involved in talks with the Brotherhood over the crisis said that there would be an opportunity later to revise controversial articles of the draft constitution, which the opposition said does not guarantee basic rights, the report added.

Opposition groups have, however, refused to back down, and held a press conference on Sunday to denounce both the referendum and Morsi’s repeated constitutional decrees.

“We do not recognise the draft constitution because it does not represent the Egyptian people,” a statement by the opposition coalition National Salvation Front said.

“We reject the referendum which will certainly lead to more division and sedition,” it added.

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