Vice President: Morsy ready to delay referendum

Vice President Mahmoud Mekky said on Friday that President Mohamed Morsy is prepared to delay the referendum on the draft constitution on the condition that his decision cannot be challenged in a court of law.

"We are ruled by the article (in the constitutional declaration), which compels the president to put a draft of the constitution to referendum in a period not exceeding fifteen days," Mekky told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

He added that political powers that want this delay must provide some guarantee that they will not try to appeal the decision of the president nor will they violate the constitutional declaration.

Shortly before Mekky's statements on Friday, state media announced that the referendum on the draft constitution for Egyptians living abroad would be delayed to 12 December. Voting was supposed to begin on Saturday, but many diplomats had refused to oversee it.

Morsy had set the date for Egypt's referendum on a new constitution on 15 December, in a speech delivered on Thursday. 

Mekky's statements on Friday came after a day of large-scale protest in front of the presidential palace where Morsy's offices are located.

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