Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

LIFESTYLES

New road trip

Read more

LIFESTYLES

High-tech in France

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Global warming: A drowning planet

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Christian Kastrop, Director of Policy Studies, OECD

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: Did he ever leave?

Read more

ENCORE!

Weekly Music Show: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's new album

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Revolt in New Caledonia and rebuilding homes in Libya

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

UK coalition split on 'English votes for English laws'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Activists launch 'Blood Bucket Challenge'

Read more

Africa

Egypt’s opposition urges ‘No’ vote in referendum

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-21

Egypt’s opposition urged its supporters on Wednesday to vote ‘No’ in an upcoming referendum on a controversial draft constitution backed by President Mohammed Morsi, however they warned that a boycott of the ballot was still possible.

An Egyptian opposition alliance urged supporters on Wednesday to vote “No” in the referendum on a disputed constitution but said it may still boycott if its conditions are not met.

Hamdeen Sabahi, one of the leaders of the opposition National Salvation Front, said at a news conference the alliance would urge its supporters to boycott if judges are not overseeing the vote and the state does not provide security at the polls.

“The Front decided to call upon the people to go to the polling stations and reject the draft by saying ‘No,”” said Sabahi reading from a prepared statement. “The people will rally at the polls and have a chance to topple the constitution by saying ‘No.””

The front had been expected to call for civil disobedience, such as general strikes, to escalate the recent mass protests against President Mohammed Morsi, whose Islamist allies pushed through the draft constitution a few weeks ago. However they did not call for more protests or any other escalation of resistance at the news conference.

In another twist, Egypt’s military withdrew a call for talks with the opposition, one day after proposing it.

On the Facebook page of the Supreme Council of The Armed Forces, the military said that due to “reactions that were not up to expectations” Defense Minister Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi decided to postpone the meeting.

That announcement came at the same time the opposition said it was willing to attend the meeting.

El-Sissi’s call was seen as a return of the powerful military to the political scene after Morsi’s election ended nearly a year and a half of military rule following the February 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising. It was the second time this week the generals have addressed the crisis, signaling its return to the political fray.

The opposition has been boycotting a “national dialogue” hosted by the president, saying they don’t trust Morsi after he failed to live up to promises during the election campaign to form a representative national coalition government and to win a broad consensus before putting the constitution to a vote.

(AP)

Date created : 2012-12-12

  • EGYPT

    Egypt set for rival protests days before referendum

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Morsi gives Egypt's army police powers, right to arrest

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egypt's opposition rejects referendum, urges protests

    Read more

COMMENT(S)