Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has announced that a referendum on a new constitution will be held Dec. 15.
"After receiving this draft of the new constitution, and out of keenness to build the nation's institutions without delay or stalling, I will issue today the call for a public referendum on this draft charter on Saturday, Dec. 15," Morsi said. "I pray to God and hope that it will be a new day of democracy in Egypt."
Earlier, Morsi told Time magazine in an interview that he would backtrack on his new powers as soon as a new constitution was passed.
Egypt's top court said Sunday it has begun an open-ended strike in what it called a "black day" for the judiciary, after thousands of the Egyptian president's supporters surrounded the country's highest court to prevent judges from entering the building and reaching a verdict on the constitutional assembly.
In response, the Egyptian supreme constitutional court suspended in its work for an indefinite time as a protest against the Islamist pressure.
In addition, the state news agency reported that Ahmed el-Zind, head of the Judges' Club, said after a meeting in Judges' Club on Sunday evening that the decision made to boycott the referendum on a draft constitution was reached unanimously.
“We have decided to boycott the supervision on the constitution referendum scheduled on Dec. 15, 2012, in protest against what is called 'constitution decree,' and until this decree is rescinded."
It is worth mentioning that the draft new constitution contains 234 articles and is based on the constitution of 1971. It was an article-by-article voting. The president is due to sign the draft within the next 15 days. After that, the document will be put on a nationwide referendum.
In response to what has been issued by the Egyptian supreme constitutional court and Judges' Club, Morsi issued a series of decrees prohibiting the courts from dissolving the Constituent Assembly, as well as challenging any decision of the president, aimed at protecting the revolution.
Meanwhile, opposition parties are now calling for acts of civil disobedience, as peaceful mass protests have been unsuccessful so far in changing the constitution.
Reuters reported that Egypt's opposition alliance the National Salvation Front, comprised of leftist, liberal and socialist parties, has called for protests to take place in Cairo's central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in the country on Tuesday, against what it called Morsi's illegitimate draft constitution.
Every day the Egyptian people become pretty sure that Morsi is not the president of the Egyptian people but that he is carrying out the agenda of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which did not dream of one day having an impact on even a small village, yet now it is ruling Egypt. Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood is ruling it with new laws and a new constitution, which makes the Egyptian president, with all eligibility, the Pharaoh of the 21st century.
I'm still insisting on my opinion that the Muslim Brotherhood could be creative in social work, but that in the political and military issues, they lack experience. There is much evidence for what I say, such as Morsi's decision which paralyzed all Egypt since Nov. 22. In addition, there is the chaos in Sinai, which forced some journalists to say that Sinai is an independent state governed by Islamists and assisted by smugglers.
In one of the weird indications, 11 members of the constitutional assembly resigned in protest and demonstrations spread across the country. However, Pro-Morsi members of the assembly rushed in replacements for those who had resigned in order to push through the new constitution.
This indicates that Morsi is determined that the referendum on the constitution must succeed in the same way he won the presidency of Egypt.
I do not expect the army to intervene as it is today under the authority of Morsi, but I expect more violence to occur. At the same time, I don't think Morsi will respond to any advice from any external leader or humanitarian organizations.
If the referendum on the constitution succeeds, it means that the Egyptian people will have enabled the funeral of democracy and will be waiting for tough, dictatorship-like decisions Morsi. Even demonstrations might be considered a crime in future laws of the Muslim Brotherhood.