A decision by Egypt’s president to cancel a decree giving him extended powers has done little to placate the opposition. More mass demonstrations can be expected in the coming days.
The streets of Cairo were reported to be relatively quiet on Sunday following President Mohamed Morsi's announcement that he had annulled his November 22 decree, which put all of his decisions above judicial review. That decree, which also shielded the Islamist-dominated legislative assembly that wrote the country's draft constitution from the judiciary, sparked a series of sometimes violent street protests.
While some may have seen President Morsi's climbdown as a step in the right direction, it failed to address another of the opposition's key demands - that the December 15 referendum at least be postponed, if not cancelled outright.
The National Salvation Front, a major opposition coalition, was to meet later on Sunday to discuss its next move, but more anti-Morsi rallies can be expected in the coming days.
"We will bring down a constitution, which aborts our rights and freedom," a leading figure in the coalition, Mohammed ElBaradei, said via his Twitter account.
The opposition movement April 6 Youth also rejected Saturday's decree outright.
"We fully reject the new constitutional declaration, which is aimed at securing approval of the constitution written by the Muslim Brotherhood," the group said in a statement, referring to the Islamist movement whose political wing holds most of the seats in the assembly.
"We will continue our protests and escalate our action until the referendum on the constitution is cancelled," the April 6 Youth statement added.
Some other groups do not go quite as far, but are demanding that opposition politicians at least be given the opportunity to make amendments before the document is put to the people in a referendum.
pfd/msh (Reuters, dpa, AFP)