President Morsi’s opposition the National Salvation Front is calling for the Egyptian public to vote ‘no’ in the referendum following the president’s much debated draft constitution.
The constitution has been blasted for being ‘too Islamist,’ particularly in reference to the rights of women, the right to religious practices and the freedom of speech through journalism, confirmed through an Arabic translation of the text.The initial release of the draft constitution gave way to mass public rioting, which has been highly televised since it began in November.
The constitution was seemingly the last straw after the Egyptian public witnessed Mr Morsi establish excessive powers for himself, without the possibility of contradiction. However President Morsi annulled his decree made on November 22nd, while ruling which prohibits the judiciary from challenging the President’s decisions still remains. Morsi has been highly criticised for this move, with the opposition calling it a political gesture.
The National Salvation Front spoke publicly on Wednesday calling for all Egyptians to “go to polling stations to refuse the proposed constitution and to vote ‘no.’”
While the official date of the referendum is still unknown, conciliatory talks from the military have been postponed, The National Salvation Front party are also complaining for a different reason.
Due to concerns surrounding the referendum vote, The Front states that if certain conditions are not met, they will call for a boycott on the referendum altogether.
The conditions include the organisation of judicial overseeing on all voting, use of local and international non-governmental mediating bodies, security presence, the detailed publication of results once the official count has been completed, and for voting to take place on a single day.
These conditions are quite impossible for the government to adhere to, as voting has already started in many areas of the country, thousands of judges have refused participation, and the organisation of security remains an issue since the riots last month.
With the referendum vote due to take place at any time up to December 23, Egyptians may have to wait a little longer to see if this ‘too Islamist’ legislation will be approved.