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Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya to boycott Egypt's constitutional referendum

Hardline group believes the new constitution is undemocratic and contrary to Egyptian family values

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Dec 2013
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Leading Islamist group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya announced Saturday its decision to boycott the coming constitutional referendum on 14-15 January.

The group said that 75 percent of its members had voted to boycott the national poll, while 25 percent had voted for a no vote in the upcoming referendum.

In a statement, the group said that it will launch a campaign to urge people to boycott the vote, arguing that the constitution “has been drafted by a non-elected secular minority that seeks to marginalise Islamic identity and the role of the Islamic sharia as well as to get rid of all moral restrictions and the traditions of the Egyptian family and establish a military oppressive state.”

The 2012 constitution was suspended in July when Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted and imprisoned, after nationwide protests against him. Many of his opponents argued the constitution, drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly, failed to protect rights and freedoms or the status of minorities. A new draft was prepared by a committee of fifty members, selected by the current interim government.

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya supported Morsi during his presidency, and is currently a member of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a leading pro-Morsi coalition group.

The group further stated that it considers participating in the referendum a recognition of the “coup” against Morsi as well as “ongoing oppressive actions.”

The group also said it is sure the referendum will be rigged and that “it is impossible to participate in a referendum over a constitution that was not based on consensus but was drafted to exclude the Islamist current."

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