But the fact that he granted them to himself in the first place is a clear indication of the direction in which he wants Egyptian politics to go. “Egypt panel recommends referendum be held on time,” from FoxNews.com, December 8 (thanks to Jamie):
A national dialogue committee said a referendum on a disputed draft constitution will be held on schedule, but President Mohammed Morsi has agreed to rescind the near-absolute power he had granted himself.
The statement came after a meeting that was boycotted by the main opposition leaders who are calling for the Dec. 15 vote to be canceled.
Morsi had called for the dialogue to try to defuse a spiraling crisis, but the decision appeared unlikely to appease the opposition since it recommends the referendum go ahead as scheduled. Morsi’s initial declaration was to be rendered ineffective anyway after the referendum.
It remains unclear if Morsi has totally abandoned the decree or has just reworked it in a effort to show willingness to the opposition. Currently, it appears as though he has just reworked it and has maintained his primary goal of protecting the Shura Assembly and preventing the dismissal of the Prosecutor General. The constitution essentially remains very much the same.
There is no official comment as yet from the opposition, but the move is unlikely to satisfy Morsi’s liberal opponents….
Mostafa el-Naggar, a former lawmaker and protest leader during the uprising that led to Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011, said the Brotherhood and military statements suggested the crisis was far from over.
“As it stands, Egypt is captive to internal decisions of the Brotherhood,” he said.