Egypt Delays Early Voting on Disputed Referendum

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
The vote on the constitution is supposed to take place a week from tomorrow.

Egyptian Army deploy near the presidential palace to secure the site of overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. The Egyptian army has deployed tanks outside the presidential palace in Cairo following clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohammed Morsi that left several people dead and hundreds wounded. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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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