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The Boston Globe

World

Egypt’s leader won’t delay constitution vote

Morsi agrees to rescind some newauthority; protests go on

CAIRO — Struggling to quell protests and violence that have threatened to derail a vote on an Islamist-backed draft constitution, President Mohammed Morsi moved Saturday to appease his opponents with a package of concessions just hours after state media reported that he was moving toward imposing a form of martial law to secure the streets and the polls.

Morsi did not budge on a critical demand of the opposition: that he postpone a referendum set for next Saturday to approve the new constitution in order to allow for a thorough overhaul. His Islamists say the charter will lay the foundation for a new democracy and a return to stability, but liberal groups have faulted it for inadequate protection of individual rights and loopholes that could enable Muslim religious authorities to wield new influence.

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