Liberal and secular forces have quickly rejected the president's announcement because it presses ahead with a referendum on a constitution they say will turn Egypt into a religious state. NBC's Aymaan Mohyeldin reports from Cairo.
Critics have dismissed the referendum because they say that a draft does not have the broad consensus of Egyptians and fails to enshrine universal rights for women and protect religious freedoms.
But the president said that if the constitution is not approved next week he will order the public to directly elect a new constituent assembly to write yet another new constitution for the country.
Rival political rallies are being held in Cairo, as Egypt's president prepares to attend 'unity talks' tomorrow.
In renouncing emergency powers he deemed essential just two weeks ago, Mohamed Morsi is trying to undo some of the damage he has inflicted.