Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi has defended his controversial decree which last week gave him sweeping new powers, describing the decision as ‘‘necessary and exceptional.’‘
Speaking on state TV, Mursi stressed the temporary nature of the move insisting there was no place in Egypt for dictatorship.
“The constitutional decree – I’ve said that this period will end immediately after the people vote on the constitution which the national assembly is now completing,” Mursi said.
Egypt’s Islamist-led assembly has now approved that final draft, which includes measures keeping Sharia law as the main source of legislation. The adoption is expected to pave the way for a referendum as soon as mid-December.
But, Mursi’s opponents have insisted the new constitution has been hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood and has been deliberately rushed through.
An alliance of opposition groups plan to hold further protests in Cairo’s Tahrir square later today and have warned of broader civil disobedience.
Authorities have built three new walls in the centre of the Egyptian capital in a bid to curb the anti-government protests which have killed two and injured hundreds.