Egypt’s new president will have ‘full powers’

Interim leader Adly Mansour urged Egyptians to vote "Yes" for the new constitution in the upcoming referendum

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Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour, who promised that the “new constitution will establish a modern civil state,” said the country’s new leader will have “full powers,” without detailing what these powers are in a television address on Sunday.

Mansour said Egypt “is currently facing a ferocious attack,” without specifying the attackers.

He warned about those who misunderstand Islam and “legalize bloodshed” of the Egyptian people, urging for a more moderate understanding of Islam.

Mansour added: “We are in a dire need to renew the religious discourse to safeguard our Islamic values and its principles, and to get rid of this religious polarization.”

“The Egyptian security forces are watchful, and victory is inevitably coming,” he said.

He also urged Egyptians “to lead the ship of the nation to the shores of safety” and vote for the new constitution in which “moderate” Islam was used as a base for legislation.

But as Adly urged Egyptians to go to the referendum, hundreds of student supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammad Mursi battled security forces Sunday at three Cairo universities.

The protests took place two days before the referendum, scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday that officials said will be protected by a massive deployment of soldiers and police.

Egypt’s more than 52 million voters will decide whether to support amendments to the constitution initially drafted under Mursi's Brotherhood-led administration.

After Mursi's ouster on July 3, two panels dominated by secular-leaning politicians and legal experts later rewrote the charter.

The passing of the referendum would give legitimacy to the interim government and a boost to a military-backed plan for presidential and parliamentary elections.

Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood group and its allies stepped up confrontations in the streets ahead of the vote.

Students at Cairo and Ain Shams universities marched off campus, burned tires and blocked main roads, the Associated Press reported, adding that riot police fired tear gas and students responded by hurling stones.

In one incident, witnesses said the students set a police vehicle and a traffic post on fire.

Students at the Islamic al-Azhar University also protested. Police arrested 19 protesters for blocking traffic, said a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

(With the Associated Press)

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