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Egypt opposition denies legality of first-stage referendum

Souce:Xinhua Publish By Updated 18/12/2012 7:49 am in World / 1 comment


by Shaimaa Behery

CAIRO, Dec. 17 — “We want to re-run the voting process on the first stage of the constitution referendum because the violations and forgeries which were committed can’t lead to real expressive results,” Hussein Abdel Ghani, spokesman of Egyptian opposition National Salvation Front told Xinhua.

The first stage of the referendum of Egypt’s draft constitution ended Saturday night at 11:00 p.m. local time (2100 GMT).

Due to the high turnout, the closing time of the referendum was extended from 7:00 p.m. local time (1700 GMT) to 11:00 p.m. (2100 GMT).

The historic referendum was planned to run in two stages, according to a republican decree issued by President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, and the second stage is set for Dec. 22.

Ghani said more than 700 complaints were submitted to the Higher Elections Committee and other 500 proclamations submitted to the prosecution administration against the referendum.

“Now, we are discussing with some constitutional law experts on the legality of the first stage amid such exorbitant violations.” he said, adding that there are some groups in his front will file lawsuits against the results of the first round, because they doubt the identity of some judges who supervised the referendum.

“We want a voting process based on the transparency principles to express about real majority.” he added.

The unofficial results of the first stage of Egypt’s constitution referendum show that 56.5 percent of voters said “yes ” for the constitution, state-run al-Ahram online reported Sunday.

In a statement issued later Sunday by the National Salvation Front, led by liberal and leftist politicians including former diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, and former presidential candidates Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabahy, called all Egyptians to rally in Tahrir Square and other squares on Tuesday, protesting the first stage violations.

“By these demonstrations, we want our voices to reach to the Higher Elections Committee and the president.” he said.

Ghani also said that the front asks the Higher Elections Committee to uncover the results of the complaints submitted against the first stage.

“We want to know if the elections committee investigated the complaints, and we want it to ensure us that it will provide enough judges to supervise the polling stations.” said Ghani

Noting that the front does not recognize any results except the results the Higher Elections Committee issues, Ghani said that the primary indexes revealed that the constitution is not accepted by the majority, even if those who said “Yes” are more than those who said “No”.

Ghani argued the Islamists forces’ claims that accepting the constitution will lead the state for stability, saying that it can ‘t lead to stability because it expresses about specific group, not the whole Egyptians.

“Approving the constitution can’t lead to stability, because it doesn’t represent and protect the rights of the whole Egyptians,” Ghani said.

“The front’s demand to postpone the referendum until a consensus be reached was the most proper solution for the current conflict and division the state is living now.” he added.

“The constitution is the guarantee for the people through which their rights will be protected, so it can’t be passed by 60 percent approval, but the approval should be from 80 to 85 percent ,” he said, adding that 60 percent can’t represent majority approval over the constitution.

About the front’s plans if their demands won’t be met, Ghani said the front will escalate the protest.

“We will escalate our protest by all civil ways, we won’t leave the squares, we will call for a strike, and we won’t give up awaking the people about their rights,” Ghani said.




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