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Egypt panel recommends referendum be held on time

An Egyptian protester takes picture with his mobile his children top an Egyptian army tank outside presidential palace background Cairo

An Egyptian protester takes a picture with his mobile of his children on top of an Egyptian army tank outside the presidential palace, background, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned Saturday of 'disastrous consequences' if the crisis that sent tens of thousands of protesters back into the streets is not resolved, signaling the army's return to an increasingly polarized and violent political scene.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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Updated: December 8, 2012 5:29PM

CAIRO — Members of a presidential national dialogue committee have recommended that a referendum on a disputed constitution be held on schedule but that the president rescind some powers he had given himself.

Saturday’s statement came after a meeting that was boycotted by the main opposition leaders and did not suggest that President Mohammed Morsi meet demands for the Dec. 15 vote to be canceled.

Selim al-Awa, an Islamist at the meeting, says the committee recommended removing articles that granted Morsi powers to declare emergency laws and shield him from judicial oversight.

The decision is unlikely to appease the opposition since it recommends the referendum go ahead as scheduled. Morsi’s initial declaration was to be rendered ineffective anyway after the constitution is approved.

The majority of the 54 committee members were Islamists.

Associated Press

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