December 12, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's leading opposition group urged its followers Wednesday to vote against an Islamist-inspired draft constitution, ending weeks of indecision over whether antigovernment forces should boycott the referendum, which begins this weekend and pits secularists against the Muslim Brotherhood. The move by the National Salvation Front is a crucial test of its popularity against President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist supporters. The opposition movement has revived the country's revolutionary fervor but has been marred by division and poor organization, which are expected to be exploited by the Brotherhood's vast grass-roots networks.
December 12, 2012
A vote by millions of Egyptians on a new constitution should have been an occasion for national celebration. But overreaching by Islamists, including the country's president, has made the referendum that begins Saturday a source of division. Even if the document is approved, President Mohamed Morsi will need to reach out to Egyptians - including Christians, secularists and women - who feel they have been excluded from a revolution they helped create. Yes, Morsi was legitimately elected, but that doesn't relieve him of the responsibility to preside over an inclusive government.
December 11, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's volatile political fault lines were shaken Tuesday as rival protests echoed across the capital over the fate of a proposed constitution drafted by Islamists nearly two years after the overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Tens of thousands of Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Morsi rallied at a mosque in Cairo to back a constitutional referendum set for Saturday. Two miles away, mainly secular opposition groups marched to the barricaded presidential palace in what increasingly appears to be an improbable task of blocking the vote and forcing Morsi to order the writing of a new charter.
December 10, 2012 |
Acceptable or exceptional? There are several degrees of separation possible for the Clippers as they start a potentially troublesome four-game trip Tuesday. The Clippers will hopscotch through the Midwest and Southeast with two games in two nights at Chicago and Charlotte and then have two days off before playing in Milwaukee and finishing in Detroit. Reserve guard Jamal Crawford was experienced enough not to offer an exact definition of what would be a satisfactory outcome of the trip.
December 10, 2012 |
CAIRO - Knots of men argue politics, barefoot boys grip stones, graffiti blooms, banners unfurl and wind whistles through the tents of protesters in the latest stage of a revolution that, at least for now, has revived passions and lighted new campfires in Tahrir Square. How long the fervor will last is uncertain. The opposition against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has called for mass rallies Tuesday in a final push to block a referendum on a new constitution - one that many fear would favor Islamist interests - set for this weekend.
December 9, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's main opposition groups rejected President Mohamed Morsi's weekend move to ease political tensions as the country braced for fresh protests and the military was given authority to arrest civilians ahead of this week's referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution. Morsi early Sunday rescinded most of the decree he issued last month that gave him near absolute authority by declaring his office free from judicial oversight. At the same time, he rebuffed key opposition demands to delay a constitutional referendum set for Saturday and to order the writing of a new charter that protects civil rights against the influence of sharia , or Islamic law. Holding a referendum now "risks pushing the country toward violent confrontation," said a statement from the main opposition group, the National Salvation Front, which is led by Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei and senior politicians.
December 8, 2012 |
CAIRO - In a political reversal to calm weeks of unrest, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi early Sunday rescinded much of last month's decree that expanded his powers and exposed a dangerous divide between the nation's Islamists and the mainly secular opposition. The announcement reverses most of the declaration the Islamist president issued Nov. 22, including putting his office beyond judicial oversight. The peeling away of that power was a major demand of protesters. But Morsi continued to defy the opposition by refusing to cancel a Dec. 15 referendum on a proposed constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly.
December 6, 2012 |
CAIRO - With tanks guarding his palace and officials defecting from his government, besieged Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday offered a "national dialogue" with opposition leaders but refused to cancel a vote on a draft constitution that has ignited two weeks of political unrest. In a televised address, Morsi was adamant that a proposed charter written by an Islamist-dominated assembly would go to a referendum on Dec. 15. He also kept in place an unpopular decree that expanded his powers, blaming recent protest violence on "infiltrators," including those who this week attacked his motorcade.
December 4, 2012 |
CAIRO - Tens of thousands of protesters angered by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's expanded powers and a much-criticized proposed constitution drafted by Islamists pressed toward the presidential palace Tuesday as a series of marches dubbed the Final Warning converged in north Cairo. The protesters at the palace gates provided the starkest sign yet of the country's deepening political volatility. Dissidents shoved aside a barbed-wire barricade and riot police fired tear gas to push back the crowd.
December 4, 2012 |
The draft constitution that will be put before Egypt's voters is being criticized for its lack of any language explicitly guaranteeing equal rights for women. But in that regard it resembles the constitution of a country that prides itself on affording women equal rights - the United States. And a previous constitution that did grant equal status to men and women was hedged with qualifications that feminists would find objectionable. The now-suspended 1971 constitution did recognize women's “equal status with men in the fields of political, social, cultural and economic life” -- but subject to “the rules of Islamic jurisprudence.” The same article committed the state to guaranteeing “the proper balance between the duties of women towards the family and their work in society.” Not exactly a feminist formulation.