Egypt’s main opposition coalition rejected on Sunday, December 9 Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s plan for a constitutional referendum this week, saying it risked dragging the country into “violent confrontation,” Reuters reported. Morsi’s decision on Saturday to retract a decree awarding himself wide powers failed to placate opponents who accused him of plunging Egypt deeper into crisis by refusing to postpone the vote on a constitution shaped by Islamists. Hundreds of protesters remained around Morsi’s palace, despite tanks, barbed wire and other barriers installed last week after clashes between Islamists and their rivals killed seven people. The Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled Morsi from obscurity to power, urged the opposition to accept the referendum’s verdict. But their liberal, leftist and Christian adversaries say the document being fast-tracked through could threaten freedoms and fails to embrace Egypt’s diverse population.