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Top Judicial Body Overrides Decision To Boycott Egypt Referendum

Antigovernment protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo in late November
Egypt's highest judicial authority has said it would delegate judges to oversee a referendum on a controversial draft constitution, overriding calls for a boycott.

Egypt's official MENA news agency quoted the Supreme Judicial Council as saying judges would monitor the December 15 vote across the country.

Muhammad Gadallah, an adviser to Islamist President Muhammad Morsi, confirmed the council's announcement.

On December 2, the Judges' Club -- a body representing Egyptian judges -- said they would refuse to oversee the referendum in response to Morsi decreeing an expansion of his powers.

Morsi's move on November 22 ignited a standoff with the judiciary and triggered nationwide demonstrations by both pro- and antigovernment protesters.

At least two people were killed during the demonstrations.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP