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Opposition to vote against charter

Cairo, Dec. 12 (Reuters): Egypt’s liberal and secular Opposition said today it would back a “no” vote in a referendum on a divisive new Constitution promoted by Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, calling off a boycott as long as safeguards are in place for a fair vote.

The army called off “unity” talks involving rival factions, dealing a blow to efforts to resolve a worsening political crisis over the referendum and rein in street protests that have turned violent.

The latest convulsion in Egypt’s transition to democracy was brought on by a decree last month from Mursi in which he awarded himself sweeping powers to push through the new Constitution, a necessary prelude to parliamentary elections early next year.

Mursi’s move caused huge controversy, dividing the Arab world’s most populous state and bringing thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters onto the streets in the worst upheaval since the fall of Hosni Mubarak almost two years ago.

 
 
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