Egypt’s Military Takes Policing Powers Ahead of Referendum

Rival Protests in Cairo as Saturday Vote Looms

by Jason Ditz, December 10, 2012

The Egyptian military has resumed police powers today, nominally aimed at keeping the situation calm leading up to the Saturday referendum on a new constitution, but raising more questions about the split between civilian and military leadership.

Several opposition groups in Egypt are hoping to parlay a recent backlash against President Mohamed Morsi into demands to cancel the referendum as well, but it seems apparent, at least at this point, that the vote will go on as planned.

Which isn’t stopping protesters from rallying, with large numbers of rallies held by both supporters and opponents of the constitution and security forces struggling to keep the demonstrators from attacking one another.

So far, the major anti-Morsi protests seem to have ended, with the president withdrawing the edict granting himself unquestioned power and placating the bulk of the protesters, if not their leadership.

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