Luxor locals puzzled by sudden political activity

Ahmed A. Namatalla
2 Min Read

Most unaware of constitutional referendum

LUXOR: National Democratic Party (NDP) supporters scrambled Sunday to put up signs and posters around the city on Sunday praising President Hosni Mubarak and the referendum, leaving locals asking one common question: “What referendum?

The city of about 500,000, which until Sunday had largely remained free of referendum talk, seemed more concerned with capping a slow tourist season. Despite figures released by the Ministry of Tourism indicating continuing increases in tourist numbers nationwide, sector workers interviewed by The Daily Star Egypt indicated otherwise.

Ahmed, a bazaar shop owner, said he has noticed more activity by supporters of the ruling NDP but was unaware of the timing of the nationwide vote to reform the constitution.

“There’s a vote tomorrow? Where do I go? Ahmed said. “I think people around here are too busy looking for their next meal to vote, even if they knew what to do. He added political activity in the city is limited to presidential and other high-stature official visits.

Two streets down, tourists looked on curiously as a small truck stopped near a group of shops and NDP workers began installing a sign bearing President Mubarak’s picture and two lines of praise, but no word on the upcoming vote.

Tourist boat operators at the city’s main dock questioned whether the signs meant the President would be visiting the city.

“All we know about politics is when the President comes to visit, we take him on one of our boats and put on a good show, said one worker who declined to be named. “We cheer, sing and clap and they give us LE 150.

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