(Cairo, Egypt) -- Protesters remained camped outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Monday morning (December 10), a day after Egypt's main opposition coalition rejected the president's plan for a constitutional referendum this week.
Mohamed Mursi's decision on Saturday to retract a decree awarding himself wide powers failed to placate opponents who accused him of plunging Egypt deeper into crisis by refusing to postpone the vote on a constitution shaped by Islamists.
Mursi had given some ground on Saturday when he annulled the fiercely contested decree issued on November 22 that gave him extra powers and shielded his decisions from judicial review.
But some measures taken under the decree remain in force and the president has insisted the referendum go ahead on December 15.
Anti-Mursi demonstrator and political blogger and activist Ahmed Qassem said Mursi's decisions were confusing the people.
"Doctor Mursi, in his position, it was said that his advisors knew nothing about the decisions he took and the dictatorial constitutional decree, his assistants knew nothing about, neither did the vice president. Where did it come from then? Some of his advisors told me that he was disappointed with the wording of the text, so who drafted it? We ask Doctor Mursi: is he the one ruling? If he is not the one ruling, then he should face us with whoever's ruling so we can question them about how they are ruling us," the activist said outside the presidential palace.
On Sunday, hundreds of protesters milled around Mursi's palace, despite tanks, barbed wire and other barriers installed last week after clashes between Islamists and their rivals killed seven people.
Islamists say the upcoming referendum will seal a democratic transition that began when a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak 22 months ago after three decades of military-backed one-man rule.
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