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Egypt's Constitution Party neutral on charter referendum

Liberal party founded by Mohamed ElBaradei urges participation in constitution vote, repeats support for roadmap

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Dec 2013
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The Constitution Party has called for Egyptians to participate in the upcoming constitutional referendum, but has refrained from backing either a Yes or a No vote.

In the statement on Tuesday, the liberal party said voting in the referendum was part of the 30 June "revolutionary wave."

The party will hold a series of lectures and conferences across Egypt on the pros and cons of the new charter, which amends the 2012 version that was written by an Islamist-dominated panel under Mohamed Morsi.

The party had earlier released a statement criticising an article in the charter permitting military trials of civilians. It said such trials should be completely banned as they had been in the 1954 constitution.

"In light of fierce attacks by those opposed to the third revolutionary wave of 30 June, the party rejects boycotting the constitution referendum and stresses its support for the roadmap," the statement concluded.

The 2012 constitution has been amended as part of the 3 July roadmap implemented after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi. Parliamentary and presidential elections will follow the referendum.

The Constitution Party has suffered splits and resignations in recent months. Its founding member Mohamed ElBaradei has left the country since he resigned as vice president after security forces killed hundreds of Islamists at two pro-Morsi sit-ins in mid-August.

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