CAIRO -- Egypt awoke to fresh protests Friday against the draft of a new constitution and a president who refuses to rein in his power after more than a week of unrest, economic tumult and searing political division.
President Mohamed Morsi is defending his expanded power and a much-criticized proposed constitution as necessary to hold parliamentary elections and advance Egypt’s political transition. But opposition groups accuse Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood of pushing an authoritarian agenda that lacks bold visions to inspire an Arab world undergoing great change.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Tahrir Square found new outrage after the Islamist-led constitutional assembly, in a rushed session, approved a draft charter just after dawn. The proposal could go to a national referendum as early as mid-December, despite complaints from opposition leaders that the document edges the nation closer to Islamic law and does not represent all Egyptians.
"I didn't sleep in the streets of Tahrir in the past to have a constitution cooked up by one segment of society,” said Ahmed Saeed, a business owner. “This is too much. If this constitution is passed, Egypt will become a Brotherhood nation.”