The “their constitution is void” campaign aiming to highlight flaws in the draft constitution to the Egyptian public was launched on Monday night.
Asma’a Aly, the campaign’s coordinator and one of its main advocates, said that they have volunteers with different political orientations, including some belonging to political parties alongside others who are not.
Aly said that the point of the campaign is to show people the problems they may face in their daily lives as a result of the draft constitution.
The campaign’s launch comes a few days ahead of the 15 December constitutional referendum.
Aly said that the campaign urges people to vote ‘no’ in the upcoming referendum rather than boycott it, because there isn’t a minimum requirement of voters that have to show up for the referendum to be held. “We tried boycotting and invalidating votes in the parliamentary and presidential elections and we don’t want to repeat the same mistake again,” she said.
Michael Gamal, the campaign coordinator in Shubra Al-Khaima, said that there were about 20 to 25 people who turned up for the first general meeting on Monday, and explained that each volunteer decided to take responsibility to organise campaign efforts with more people in allocated areas.
Gamal said that the volunteers will approach different groups of people based on what concerns them in the constitution. For example, in Shobra Al-Khaima, where there are a lot of industrial workers, Gamal plans to approach the labourers with what concerns them in the constitution as the entire draft is too big for people to understand as a whole.
The final draft constitution is over 60 pages long and is made up of 236 articles.
In addition to approaching people in groups, the volunteers will hold human chains and hand out flyers and stickers in the metro. It also enables anyone interested to volunteer by printing out the campaign flyers, made available online, and handing them out. Aly added that on Friday volunteers will be campaigning in and around mosques.
The flyers state that the constitution allows forced labour, gives the president powers that make him a pharaoh and doesn’t provide the less fortunate with the same quality healthcare as richer people.
Aly said, “all the laws that limit freedom are now in the constitution…the problems that the civil forces have with the constitution have nothing to do with Sharia’a. They are related to healthcare, women, forced labour, military trails…”
A rival campaign urging people to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum was launched earlier this week by the Freedom and Justice Party. “They are using religion and stability in their campaign. This constitution is highly disputed and will not lead to stability,” Aly said.
She added that her campaign is starting to coordinate with other campaigns such as the ones launched by Al-Dostour Party, Strong Egypt, and the Egyptian Social Democratic parties.
“We don’t have their money of course… but we have alternative tools: we know how to make good use of social media and we are good at graffiti,” Aly said.