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75% of the ESDP agrees to vote Yes to the constitution

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The party calls on presidential elections to be held before parliamentary elections

A billboard reading "participating in the constitution means YES for the 30th of June and the 25th of January" is seen on the 6th of October Bridge, on November 25, 2013 in Cairo. According to the government's timetable, a referendum is to be held on a new constitution within the next two months to be followed by parliamentary elections in mid-2014 and then presidential polls. (AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)

A billboard reading “participating in the constitution means YES for the 30th of June and the 25th of January” is seen on the 6th of October Bridge.

After the high council of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) meeting on Saturday, 75% of the members decided to vote Yes to the constitutional referendum before expressing their disapproval of the article pertaining to military trials of civilians.

Executive media secretary of the party Atef Adly said on Sunday that the other 25% high council members reject several articles and thus decided to reject the entire constitution; however, the majority decided to vote Yes to the constitution.

Adly said that over 90% of the members have reservations on articles that allow military trials for civilians; however, the current priority is to assemble people and parties for the purpose of voting Yes to the constitution to reach stability.

The ESDP formed several electoral alliances; on 31 October Tamarod (Rebellion) campaign and the ESDP announced that they will form an electoral alliance. They had previously announced on 13 October that a “joint committee” was formed to set up a merger with Al-Dostour Party.

In reference to the disapproval expressed by several members of several articles of the constitution, Adly said: “The articles could be changed in the future; however, currently everyone should focus on one thing at a time”.

The Constituent Assembly responsible for drafting the constitution failed to draft articles defining the electoral system or those specifying whether parliamentary elections would be held prior to presidential elections. The assembly stipulated that the legislator will be responsible for addressing these issues; the interim president currently has legislative authority.

Secretary General of the ESDP Ahmed Fawzy said that the party would prefer that presidential elections be held prior to parliamentary elections; he went on to dismiss rumours regarding the party’s support for a particular presidential candidate.

“This subject has not been addressed by the party,” he said.

Adly specified that ESDP President Mohamed Abul-Ghar clearly expressed that he would prefer that presidential elections be held prior to parliamentary elections before dismissing rumours that the high council drafted a petition highlighting articles it does not approve of.

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