Egypt Opposition: We Need More Protests

  • Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian protester smokes a cigaret outside her tent in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian protester smokes a cigaret outside her tent in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian protester smokes a cigaret outside her tent in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian protester smokes a cigaret outside her tent in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian protester reads the newspaper as other sit next to their tents in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian protester reads the newspaper as other sit next to their tents in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian protester reads the newspaper as other sit next to their tents in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian protester reads the newspaper as other sit next to their tents in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian man walks past Arabic writing on a wall that reads, "the Muslim Brotherhood are an American and English invention," in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian man walks past Arabic writing on a wall that reads, "the Muslim Brotherhood are an American and English invention," in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian man walks past Arabic writing on a wall that reads, "the Muslim Brotherhood are an American and English invention," in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian man walks past Arabic writing on a wall that reads, "the Muslim Brotherhood are an American and English invention," in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian man walks past graffiti in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian man walks past graffiti in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian man walks past graffiti in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    An Egyptian man walks past graffiti in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • 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)

    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)

  • Protesters stand on top of cement blocks as Egyptian army soldiers stand guard, bottom left, near the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Protesters stand on top of cement blocks as Egyptian army soldiers stand guard, bottom left, near the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Protesters stand on top of cement blocks as Egyptian army soldiers stand guard, bottom left, near the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Protesters stand on top of cement blocks as Egyptian army soldiers stand guard, bottom left, near the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Egyptian riot policemen guard a gate of the presidential palace, background, amid ongoing protests, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military has warned of 'disastrous consequences' if the political crisis gripping the country is not resolved through dialogue. " (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Egyptian riot policemen guard a gate of the presidential palace, background, amid ongoing protests, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military has warned of 'disastrous consequences' if the political crisis gripping the country is not resolved through dialogue. " (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi slogans outside the presidential palace, background, under a banner with a defaced picture of President Mohammed Morsi and Arabic that reads "the people want to bring down the regime," at the protests site, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned on 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)

    Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi slogans outside the presidential palace, background, under a banner with a defaced picture of President Mohammed Morsi and Arabic that reads "the people want to bring down the regime," at the protests site, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned on 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)

  • Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian protester smokes a cigaret outside her tent in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian protester smokes a cigaret outside her tent in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian protester reads the newspaper as other sit next to their tents in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian protester reads the newspaper as other sit next to their tents in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian man walks past Arabic writing on a wall that reads, "the Muslim Brotherhood are an American and English invention," in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian man walks past Arabic writing on a wall that reads, "the Muslim Brotherhood are an American and English invention," in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian man walks past graffiti in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • An Egyptian man walks past graffiti in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • 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)
  • Protesters stand on top of cement blocks as Egyptian army soldiers stand guard, bottom left, near the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • Protesters stand on top of cement blocks as Egyptian army soldiers stand guard, bottom left, near the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • Egyptian riot policemen guard a gate of the presidential palace, background, amid ongoing protests, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military has warned of 'disastrous consequences' if the political crisis gripping the country is not resolved through dialogue. " (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
  • Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi slogans outside the presidential palace, background, under a banner with a defaced picture of President Mohammed Morsi and Arabic that reads "the people want to bring down the regime," at the protests site, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned on 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)
  • Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Cairo — Egypt’s opposition said yesterday it will keep up protests against a referendum on a disputed draft constitution but stopped short of advocating either a boycott or a “no” vote less than a week before the ballot.

The opposition was still pushing for Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to cancel the Dec. 15 referendum, saying they reject the process entirely and refuse to call it legitimate.

The referendum over a disputed draft constitution has deeply polarized Egypt and sparked some of the bloodiest clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents since he came to power in June.

In a sign of how jittery the government about holding the referendum, Morsi has ordered the military to maintain security and protect state institutions until the results of the referendum are announced.

The new presidential decree, published in the official gazette, would be effective starting today. The military is asked to coordinate with the police on maintaining security and would also be entitled to arrest civilians.

Morsi insists on holding the referendum on schedule. Instead, as a concession to his opponents, he rescinded decrees he issued last month granting him almost unrestricted powers, giving himself and the panel that drafted the constitution immunity from judicial oversight.

The decrees sparked the protests. Opponents said they were issued initially to protect the disputed constitution from numerous court challenges.

Rushing the approval of the constitution in a late night session in the panel further inflamed those who claim Morsi and his Islamist allies, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are monopolizing power and trying to force their agenda into practice.

The opposition sent hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets, in unprecedented mass rallies for the largely secular groups since they led the popular uprising last year that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

This prompted protests by Morsi supporters and sparked bouts of street battles that left at least six people dead and hundreds wounded.

Several offices of the Muslim Brotherhood also have been ransacked or torched in the unrest.

The National Salvation Front, an umbrella opposition group of liberal and leftist parties, said at a news conference yesterday that holding the referendum in such an atmosphere would lead to more strife. It called for another mass demonstration tomorrow.

The front said Morsi and the regime are “gambling by driving the country toward more violent clashes that are dangerous for its national security.”

In a sign of the continued tension, Misr 25 TV, affiliated with the Brotherhood, announced that an alliance of Islamist groups will hold rival rallies tomorrow in support of “legitimacy.”