Egypt's Morsi: Dec. 15 referendum on constitution

Associated Press
A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi holds a Quran and a poster of the president at a rally in front of Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Tens of thousands of people waving Egyptian flags and hoisting large pictures of the president are demonstrating across Egypt Saturday in support of Morsi and Islamic law. The rally, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, is seen as a test of strength for Islamists seeking to counteract large opposition protests held this past week by liberal and secular groups who the Brotherhood say do not represent the vast majority of Egyptians.  (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)
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A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi holds a Quran and a poster of the president at a rally in front of Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Tens of thousands of people waving Egyptian flags and hoisting large pictures of the president are demonstrating across Egypt Saturday in support of Morsi and Islamic law. The rally, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, is seen as a test of strength for Islamists seeking to counteract large opposition protests held this past week by liberal and secular groups who the Brotherhood say do not represent the vast majority of Egyptians. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has called for a Dec. 15 referendum on a disputed draft constitution.

Morsi spoke Saturday in a nationally televised speech to the Islamist-led panel that hurriedly approved the draft charter amid widening opposition from secular and Christian groups.

Morsi urged Egyptians to participate in the referendum and praised the role of the judiciary in observing past elections. He says the referendum will be a brick in Egypt's democratic experience.