Egypt faces snap referendum as anti-Mursi protests continue

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Egypt faces snap referendum as anti-Mursi protests continue

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Tens of thousands of Egyptians have continued to demonstrate across the country calling on President Mohamed Mursi to step down.

In Alexandria there were ugly scenes as rock-throwing protesters clashed with police. Huge numbers of people also remain camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square determined to bring down Mursi, and his government, just like they did with Hosni Mubarak less than two years ago.

Despite days of violent protests Mursi has not buckled, defending his decree which halts court challenges to his decisions. The president has described the move as ‘‘an exceptional stage,’‘ but many Egyptians are calling him a new dictator.

“Our main demand is the cancellation of the constitutional declaration. Our second demand is an end to being governed by the head of the Muslim Brotherhood. Our third demand? An end to their hegemony,” said one woman in Tahrir Square.

“We’ve been pushed to choose between the lesser of two evils. Either we accept the constitutional declaration, or we vote for a constitution that they have drawn up,” said another man.

But Morsi seems unwilling to listen to such demands. He is expected to call a quickfire referendum on the new constitution on Saturday before Egypt’s supreme court can dissolve the Islamist dominated Assembly that drafted it.