EgyptMiddle East

Egypt opposition rejects referendum, calls for protests


Egyptian opposition groups have rejected President Mohamed Morsi’s referendum, scheduled for mid-December to sound out support for the country’s draft constitution, and called for more protests on Tuesday.

The opposition National Salvation Front made the announcement on Sunday, saying, “We do not recognize the draft constitution because it does not represent the Egyptian people.”

“The Front calls for demonstrations in the capital and in the regions on Tuesday as a rejection of the president’s decision that goes against our legitimate demands,” it said in a statement at a news conference.

The statement added that the referendum “will certainly lead to more division and sedition.”

The recent development comes as massive protests against Morsi have broken out in the country after he issued a controversial decree on November 22, declaring that no judicial body can dissolve the Constituent Assembly, which was writing the draft.

The decree allowed the president to take “any decision or measure to protect the revolution.” It also made decisions and laws issued by the president “final and not subject to appeal.”

Former presidential candidate, Mohamed Selim El-Awa told a press conference in Cairo late on Saturday night that Morsi had annulled the decree.

The referendum will be held as planned on December 15, he added.

The Egyptian Armed Forces has urged in a statement, “The path of dialogue is the best and only way to reach agreement and achieve the interests of the nation and its citizens.”

The Alliance of Islamist Forces, an umbrella group that includes Morsi’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood party, announced on Sunday that it “is calling for a demonstration Tuesday under the slogan ‘Yes to legitimacy'” to support the referendum.

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