Egypt delays early voting on disputed referendum

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Associated Press

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 7 at 1:33 PM

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt is postponing the start of early voting on a draft constitution that is a target of mass protests by foes of President Mohammed Morsi.

The vote on the constitution is supposed to take place a week from tomorrow. But early voting by Egyptians living in other countries was due to begin tomorrow. That's been pushed back to next Wednesday -- possibly an effort by Morsi's government to allow room for negotiations with the opposition.

Yesterday, Morsi appealed for dialogue -- though he made no concessions to his opponents.

The political crisis has been building since Morsi issued a decree last month that gave him nearly absolute powers. It intensified when Morsi's Islamist allies pushed through a draft constitution that carries the imprint of Islamic hard-liners.

It's not clear how the postponement will affect the overall timeline of the referendum.

But some protesters among the tens of thousands who marched on the palace after nightfall are expressing optimism, saying Morsi may be feeling the pressure.

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APPHOTO NN119: Egyptian protesters chant slogans against President Mohammed Morsi while marching to join their fellow protesters near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Egypt's political crisis spiraled deeper into bitterness and recrimination Friday as thousands of Islamist backers of the president vowed vengeance at a funeral for men killed in bloody clashes earlier this week and large crowds of the president's opponents marched on his palace to increase pressure after he rejected their demands. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) (7 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO NN119 (12/07/12)>>

APPHOTO HAS137: Egyptian protesters gather outside the presidential palace after they broke through a barbed wire barricade that was keeping them from getting closer to the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Egypt's political crisis spiraled deeper into bitterness and recrimination Friday as thousands of Islamist backers of the president vowed vengeance at a funeral for men killed in bloody clashes earlier this week and large crowds of the president's opponents marched on his palace to increase pressure after he rejected their demands. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (7 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO HAS137 (12/07/12)>>

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