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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Egypt: Oppositional National Salvation Front calls for the protests on Tuesday against the referendum

The leaders of Egypt's National Salvation Front (Hamdeen
Sabbahy, Mohamed El Baradei, Amr Moussa)

After the first stage of Egypt’s historical Constitutional referendum has been held on Saturday 145 December and the counting of the votes is ongoing, Egypt’s oppositional National Salvation Front issued a statement calling for the mass protests on Tuesday, 18 December, against the rigged first phase of the referendum.

Egypt’s opposition claims there were numerous violations of the voting process witnessed during the first stage of the national referendum. The NSF (National Salvation Front) blames the Supreme Elections Commission and its head for the violations which took place during the referendum.

Among the most common violations were the mistakes in the voting lists and absence of the names of some voters, closing some polling stations earlier than the official time for ending the voting in the country, unstamped ballots and voting papers which considers being invalid, lack of judicial supervision and refusal of some judges to demonstrate their identification cards, illegal campaigning close to the polling stations etc.



It’s also worth mentioning that Egypt’s human rights organizations have documented nearly 7,400 violations during the voting process, which also include around 1,500 police reports regarding those violations.

Egyptians waiting to vote in the referendum
Egyptian National Salvation Front calls for Egyptians to take to the streets on Tuesday to press the state’s authority and to protest the attempts of the ruling Islamists to falsify the results of the referendum. In addition to that some oppositional political figures clam the results of the referendum couldn’t be legitimate because the voter turnout was only nearly 33% what is very low and means that almost 70% of the eligible voters boycotted the referendum. The gap between the “Yes” and “No” votes is also too small, but the Islamist forces claim the results of the Constitutional referendum never could be close to 90% approval and 50+1% votes for the charter is enough.

National Salvation Front and Egypt’s opposition will demand during Tuesday’s protests the cancellation of the results of this “rigged” first stage of the Constitutional referendum and that the re-election should be held. In addition to that the opposition thinks one day for voting is not enough as any important election is Egypt lasts during two days for each stage.

The NSF also demands the full judicial supervision of the electoral process and the judicial oversight of the second phase scheduled for 22 December too.

Counting the votes after the first stage of the referendum
Oppositional parties and groups stated that they will also organize the small marches and campaigns in the remaining 17 Egyptian governorates which are expected to vote next Saturday. They are planning to urge the voters to vote against the Constitutional draft.

Among those parties and groups planning to participate in the Tuesday protests and marches are National Salvation Front, Constitution Party (headed by Mohamed El Baradei), the April 6th Youth Movement, Strong Egypt Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Free Egypt Party, Nasserist Egyptian Current etc.

In addition to that it’s also worth mentioning that Egyptian judges made a statement today refusing to supervise the second stage of the Constitutional referendum. They also staged the protests against Mohamed Morsy’s recent decisions and appointing of the new Prosecutor General.