Referendum will be held on time, says Egypt's VP

Ahram Online, Wednesday 5 Dec 2012

Egypt's VP assures that referendum on a new constitution will be held on time, affirming respect for peaceful protests at the presidential palace in Heliopolis

File photo: An Egyptian man reads a ballot at a polling centre before voting during a referendum on constitutional amendments in Cairo March 19, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Vice President Mahmoud Mekki asserted Wednesday during a press conference that Egypt's long-awaited constitution will be put to nationwide referendum 15 December as planned.

"We need to reply on the people, the main source of authority, not to political camps and their ability to mobilise the streets," said Mekki.

Mekki added that voices of the opposition would not be ignored if the constitution was approved in the referendum, urging for national dialogue.

"We are keen to have the referendum on its scheduled date, to give into the judgement of the only legitimate judge (the people)," added Mekki.

Mekki spoke before a number of Egypt's journalists as clashes were occurring between supporters of the president and opponents.

Regarding Tuesday's protests where hundreds of thousands besieged the presidential palace to denounce Morsi's recent decisions, Mekki aserted his respect for peaceful protesters, but accused some of them of attacking members of the security forces.

He further praised the police for not responding to protesters and avoiding clashes.

According to Mekki, there were clear instructions given to the police to maintain self-restraint although — he claimed — protesters assaulted public property.

"We cannot continue with this battle, mobilising people from both sides that is a never ending battle. The ballot boxes will decide," he said, referring to mass demonstrations of both pro-Morsi supporters and opposition groups and parties.




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