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Al-Dostour Party condemns boycotting the referendum

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Al-Dostour Party remains neutral between Yes and No in referendum while Al-Nour Party announces campaign in support of draft constitution

Members of the Egyptian constitutional panel vote on a new constitution at the Shura council in downtown Cairo on November 30, 2013.  (AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)

Members of the Egyptian constitutional panel vote on a new constitution at the Shura council in downtown Cairo on November 30, 2013.
(AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)

Al-Dostour Party called on Egyptians to “strongly participate” in the upcoming constitutional referendum, but maintained neutrality concerning its position on the amendments put forth by the Constituent Assembly.

The party, which strongly supported the protests that led to former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, announced it would hold a series of seminars and lectures across the country “to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of voting Yes or No.”

Al-Dostour Party also expressed its rejection of any boycott campaign against the referendum due to the “critical conditions experienced in the country and the fierce attacks by forces opposed to the corrective revolutionary wave of 30 June.” The party added that widespread participation in the referendum would attest to the “strengthening of the roadmap”.

The Salafi Al Nour Party, which had already announced its support for the draft amended constitution, announced on Monday that it would launch a nationwide campaign “inviting the Egyptian people to participate in the referendum and vote Yes to the draft constitution”.

The only major Islamist party that supported the post-3 July transition following Morsi’s ouster added that it would print and distribute brochures “to respond to suspicions raised concerning the constitution”.

Al-Nour endorsed the draft, saying it would stabilise the country and avert polarisation. The group also praised the proposed documents’ preservation of Arab and Islamic identities.

Moderate Islamist Party Misr Al-Qawia, which urged Egyptians to vote against the proposed constitution, directed nine demands to the Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC), including allowing political parties, civil society organisations and observers to monitor the voting process and be present in electoral subcommittees.

Misr Al-Qawia also called on the SEC to allow international organisations with experience in observing elections to participate in the oversight of Egyptian referendum and provide them with all the necessary facilities to do so, announcing the names of these groups ahead of the referendum. The party also demanded a precise process that only allows citizens to vote in their assigned polling station, which should not host more than 1,500 voters each and that the process of stamping ballots be vigilantly followed, with a public counting of the ballots. The party’s statement also called for the referendum to be held on a single day.

On Monday former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh’s party urged Egyptians to vote No in the upcoming referendum, citing autonomy it granted to the army and the unrepresentative nature of the committee that drafted the amendments.


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