Who is worse, President Mohammed Morsi, the elected Islamist seeking to apply Islamic law in Egypt, or former President Hosni Mubarak, the dictator ousted for trying to start a dynasty?
The Egyptian military on Monday assumed joint responsibility with the police for security and protecting state institutions until the results of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum are announced.
Several hundred Egyptians marched toward the presidential palace in Cairo on Sunday to protest the president's decision to keep on schedule the referendum on a disputed draft constitution set for next week.
Egypt is bracing for more political tension this week, as supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi plan for massive demonstrations Tuesday and a weekend deadline looms for a vote on a draft constitution that has split the country into hostile camps.
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.
Egypt's powerful military, sidelined last summer by the newly elected Islamist president, edged back Saturday into a political fray boiling over with tensions between secular forces and a government determined to pass a constitution enshrining a central role for religion.
The head of Egypt's election committee says the planned voting of Egyptians who live abroad on a disputed draft constitution has been postponed.
One of Egypt's most prominent ultraconservative Muslim clerics had high praise for the country's draft constitution. Speaking to fellow clerics, he said this was the charter they had long wanted, ensuring that laws and rights would be strictly subordinated to Islamic law.
The Egyptian army sealed off the presidential palace with barbed wire and armored vehicles Thursday as protesters defied a deadline to vacate the area, pressing forward with demands that Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi rescind decrees giving himself near-absolute power and withdraw a disputed draft constitution.