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Egypt president annuls decree to quell protests

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Egypt president annuls decree to quell protests

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Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has cancelled his contentious decree which widened the powers of the head of state.

The u-turn comes after more than two weeks of fierce protests, accusing him of becoming a dictator.

Yesterday’s national dialogue meeting called by Mursi was boycotted by his main opponents, angry at the rushing through of the draft constitution.

A spokesman for the president says the referendum on the charter will still go ahead next Saturday.

He added that Mursi wanted political leaders who missed the meeting to give their views about amendments to the (draft) constitution.

Some protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square welcomed the compromise and hoped it would stop the crisis spiralling out of control.

One man said: “Cancelling the constitutional decree, for me, means preventing the bloodshed of the Egyptian people.”

But more opposition rallies are planned for today.

Sceptics say Mursi’s u-turn has only come about now that the draft constitution is finalised and has been protected from a judicial challenge.