Egyptian Protesters Camp out at Presidential Palace

Posted December 5th, 2012 at 4:45 am (UTC-5)
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Egyptian protesters are camped out at Cairo's Tahrir Square and in front of the presidential palace to urge President Mohamed Morsi to step down.

Some of the protesters Wednesday have vowed not to leave until Mr. Morsi abolishes a decree he issued last month granting him sweeping powers that place him above review from the judiciary.

On Tuesday, Egyptian riot police fired tear gas outside the presidential palace, where tens of thousands of protesters had gathered as Mr. Morsi was inside conducting business. Police tried to stop the crowd from storming the palace but soon retreated and let the marchers through a barrier and up to the palace walls. Egyptian officials say Mr. Morsi had left the palace during the march.

Many of the marchers chanted the same anti-government slogans used in the uprising that toppled former authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak.

Protest leaders called Tuesday's march a last warning to Mr. Morsi to back down from his decree. They are also against a draft constitution that the opposition says was drawn up by Islamists, without input from secularists and liberals.

A referendum on the constitution is set for December 15.

Also Tuesday, 11 Egyptian newspapers suspended publication to protest the draft constitution. Journalists say it puts restrictions on free speech.