CAIRO Dec 5 Egyptian opposition leader Amr
Moussa said on Wednesday that President Mohamed Mursi should
make a formal offer for dialogue to end a crisis over the
constitution, after the vice-president set out what he described
as personal ideas to resolve the row.
Opposition politicians met to respond to the proposals laid
out by Vice-President Mahmoud Mekky, who presented his ideas to
reporters at the presidential palace. Outside the compound,
Mursi's opponents and supporters scuffled with each other.
"We are ready when there is something formal, something
expressed in definite terms; we will not ignore it, especially
if there is something useful," Moussa told Reuters, adding that
he was holding talks with other politicians.
He said the terms used by Mekky to describe his ideas meant
they could not be considered a formal or official offer with
Moussa is a member of an opposition alliance, the National
Salvation Front, which includes several prominent figures such
as former U.N. nuclear agency chief and Nobel peace laureate
Another member of the alliance, Abdel Ghaffar Shokr, head of
the Popular Socialist Coalition Party, said the opposition would
issue a statement to respond to Mekky. "Until now we still hold
our position that the decree should be cancelled and the
constitution should be delayed," he said, referring to Mursi's
decree on Nov. 22 that gave him extraordinary powers.
Mekky said amendments to disputed articles could be agreed
with the opposition. A written agreement could then be submitted
to the next parliament, to be elected after a referendum on the
constitution on Dec. 15.
On those ideas, Shokr said it would be unusual for a
constitution to be amended after just two months.
A senior Muslim Brotherhood official told Reuters the ideas
needed to be "crystallised."
"When it is crystallized and announced, at that time we will
declare our position," Mahmoud Ghozlan, Brotherhood spokesman
and a senior member of the group, told Reuters.