• 15:16
  • Thursday ,09 January 2014

Egyptians abroad start voting on referendum


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Thursday ,09 January 2014

Egyptians abroad start voting on referendum

Egyptian political group the Way of the Revolution Front said on Wednesday that it would lobby for a no vote in next week's constitutional referendum.

The group, which was formed in September, is opposed both to the Muslim Brotherhood and to the military. It includes many well-known political activists, including blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah who is currently in pre-trial detention, and novelist Ahdaf Soueif.
The new constitution, finalised in December and scheduled for a national vote on 14-15 January, does not meet the demands and aspirations of the 2011 revolution, according to the group's statement.
"The draft constitution does not include any demands that we have been calling for since 2011 -- bread, freedom and social justice; it doesn’t include enough rights for workers, farmers and many other poor segments that are a huge part of the Egyptian society," said Khaled Sayyed, a member of the group who read the statement at a press conference on Wednesday.
The front also condemned the billions that Egyptian businessmen have spent on billboards supporting the yes campaign.
"Those who are ruling the country have been backing the businessmen who paid millions of pounds to fund the yes campaign," added Sayyed.
He also said that there is no difference between the constitution that was drafted by the Muslim Brotherhood under the rule of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi and the new constitution which is set to replace it.
"The current draft charter came to entrench the military in power; in Article 203, the parliament does not have the authority to discuss the budget of the military; only the military council is entitled to discuss it. Also in the Article 234, the newly drafted constitution states that the president of the country is not entitled to hire a new armed forces chief unless he gets the approval of the military council. Military trials will still be taking place against civilians according to Article 204," said Sayyed.
The front includes leading members of the Strong Egypt Party, the Revolutionary Socialists and the Justice and Freedom Youth activist group, as well as independent political figures.
After the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, interim President Adly Mansour appointed a 50 member panel, headed by former presidential candidate Amr Moussa, to revise the constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated constituent assembly in 2012.