(Los Angeles Times) President Mohamed Morsi apparently secured a victory at the polls Saturday for a new Egyptian constitution, locking the country into a bitter contest between his ascendant Islamist camp and his secular opponents.

Morsi managed to push the controversial document through after a political crisis brought on by his declaration a month ago giving himself wide-ranging emergency powers.

Although Morsi rolled back much of that decree — amid massive protests and street clashes — he insisted on bringing the new constitution to a referendum. The president called the move necessary for stability, and he warned that there was a plot to sabotage Egypt’s new democracy by loyalists to former President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime, overthrown nearly two years ago.

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