Abul-Fotouh's Strong Egypt Party to vote no at referendum
Moderate Islamist party launches "no" campaign ahead of Saturday's poll as constitution 'fails revolutionary demands'; Egyptian Current Party to decide position on referendum Tuesday
Ahram Online, Monday 10 Dec 2012
Former presidential candidate and founder of the Strong Egypt Party, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Former presidential candidate and founder of the Strong Egypt Party, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, announced in a statement Monday that the party will call all Egyptians to vote "no" in the upcoming constitutional referendum, following opposition calls to reject the draft national charter.
The moderate Islamist party confirmed that it will launch a "no" campaign, as the current draft constitution does not achieve the demands of the January 25 Revolution. The party also condemned the manner in which the national charter was passed and the way political forces were forced to accept the status quo.
Muslim Brotherhood-offshoot the Egyptian Current Party also issued a statement Monday saying they will confirm their position on the upcoming constitutional polls once their members have conducted an internal vote on Tuesday.
The statement explained that party members will vote on a finalised committee report, which is party-written evaluation of the constitution and whether it the party's ten key demands.
The Monday statement clarified that these points include ensuring the rights of marginalised groups, not putting any restraints on public and private freedoms, achieving social justice for all sections of society, guaranteeing dignity for all Egyptians without discrimination, separation and balance of different state authorities and a proper definition of the specialisations of each state authority.
In addition, the party outlined, they want to ensure that military institutions fall under civil democratic dominance in the constitution and that the national charter grants sovereignty to the people directly through referendums and popular control or indirectly through elected institutions.
The party report will also examine whether the constitution protects civil unity or separates society into different sects.
Finally, the statement says, the constitution should show commitment to agreements and international treaties without compromising on the principles of Egyptian society.
The party noted that they will take into account previous historical experiences in drafting constitutions worldwide and in Egypt when examining the draft national charter.
Earlier on Sunday, opposition coalition the National Salvation Front issued a statement in which it rejected Egypt's scheduled constitutional referendum slated for Saturday, 15 December.
The decree issued on Saturday night by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi following a round of national dialogue aimed at calming ongoing protests, has done little to change the minds of much of the opposition.