CAIRO Three members of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's advisory team said on Wednesday they had resigned over the crisis ignited by a decree that expanded his powers.
Seif Abdel Fattah, Ayman al-Sayyad and Amr al-Leithy all tendered their resignations, bringing to six the number of presidential staff who have quit in the wake of a decree that has triggered countrywide violence.
The previously announced resignations included a Christian and a woman. They were part of a presidential staff assembled by Mursi, an Islamist, in an effort to build an inclusive administration.
Speaking to Reuters, Leithy said he had submitted his resignation following the November 22 decree. He said neither he, Sayyad or Abdel Fattah - all political independents - had been consulted on the decree. But they had not made their resignations public as they tried to help resolve the crisis.
In an effort to end the turmoil, Mursi has called a December 15 referendum on a draft constitution that will override the decree. The opposition want the referendum postponed
"I today urge the president to cancel the constitutional decree and to postpone the referendum on the constitution and to open an immediate national dialogue with all the political forces to produce a consensus constitution," he said.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera television, Sayyad said: "We have tried, over the course of an entire week to solve it, but unfortunately we did not succeed," he said.
"We announce now clearly that we failed."
Abdel Fattah also told Al Jazeera he had quit.
(Cairo Bureau; Editing by Michael Roddy)