CAIRO Dec 6 Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi
invited political groups, judges and others to meet on Saturday
for a national dialogue on a political road map after a
referendum on a new constitution, which he signalled would go
ahead as scheduled on Dec. 15.
In a televised address, Mursi also said he was open to the
idea of removing an article in a controversial decree that
shielded his decisions from judicial review, saying that could
happen if "dialogue led to that".
Mursi's Nov. 22 decree and subsequent call for the
referendum on the new constitution has infuriated opposition
groups and led to lethal street violence between Mursi's
supporters and opponents.
The main opposition alliance said it was assessing the offer
of dialogue, though Mursi's proposals fell short of opposition
demands for the cancellation of the decree and postponement of
the referendum on a constitution drafted by an assembly
dominated by Islamists.
"I call for a full, productive dialogue with all figures and
heads of parties, revolutionary youth and senior legal figures
to meet this Saturday," Mursi said in a televised address on
Thursday, saying the meeting would be at his official palace.
As well as drawing up a road map, he said they would discuss
the fate of the upper house of parliament after the lower house
was dissolved in June, the election law and other issues. He
said plans for the referendum on Dec. 15 were on track.
While defending his decision to issue the Nov. 22 decree,
Mursi said the provision that protected his decisions from
judicial oversight did not "prevent the judiciary from
exercising its role or citizens from appealing against decisions
"However if this article worries anyone, I am not insisting
on it remaining," he said. He added that only "sovereign
actions" were protected from judicial review.