Morsi Rolls Back Decree, Maintains Referendum
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has partially annulled his decree which granted him sweeping power and authority. However, the constitutional referendum remains scheduled for December 15 and will proceed as planned. Additionally, the announcement preserves articles from the original declaration that replaced the Mubarak-appointed public prosecutors and allowed courts to retry former regime officials if new evidence becomes available. Despite Morsi’s change of heart, opposition leaders from the National Salvation Front, a coalition of liberal and minority parties, continue to denounce the proposed referendum. ”Holding a referendum now in the absence of security reflects haste and an absence of a sense of responsibility on the part of the regime, which risks pushing the country towards violent confrontation,” a statement from the Front said. “Dialogue is the best and sole way to reach consensus that achieves the interests of the nation and the citizens,” said a spokesman for the military. “Anything other than that puts us in a dark tunnel with drastic consequences, which is something that we will not allow,” he warned.
In a recent opinion piece, Shadi Hamid argued that the protests against Morsi have had little to do with his actions or the draft constitution, but rather the extreme distrust between parties and shared vision for what Egypt should be. ”Egyptians simply may not agree on the fundamental attributes of the modern nation state. Should the state be ideologically neutral, or should it be an enforcer of morality, intent on creating virtuous families and virtuous individuals? Egyptians, and most of the Arab world for that matter, haven’t really had this conversation until now,” he wrote.