Egypt’s largest opposition group has rejected President Mohamed Morsy’s latest decree and the 15 December constitutional referendum. It called for mass mobilisation against the referendum on Tuesday.
The National Salvation Front (NSF) called for large protests and rallies in Tahrir Square and “other squares in the capital and governorates” in response to Morsy’s “indifference towards their legitimate demands.”
In a statement released Sunday night, the front, which is led by Al-Dostour Party Chairman Mohamed ElBaradei, Popular Current leader Hamdeen Sabahy and former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, rejected the referendum and said it would “only lead to further sedition and division.”
The statement also warned against holding a referendum amid troubling security conditions that feature “threats by the Muslim Brotherhood’s militias and terrorist gangs levelled against protestors and demonstrators.”
This is a “reflection of recklessness and blatant irresponsibility on the part of a regime that ventures to push the country to the verge of violent confrontations, risking its national security,” read the statement.
The statement went on to say that the Ministry of Interior is being blackmailed into using “old methods” to quell dissent and opposition protests.
The NSF said the constitution being put up for referendum negates political and social rights and entrenches presidential authoritarianism. They added that Morsy was being authoritarian and coercive and that his group, the Muslim Brotherhood, was “hijacking the state.”
Finally the front said it salutes and respects the stance of “Egypt’s esteemed judges” in their refusal to provide judicial oversight for the referendum and their decision to put the country’s courts on strike “in defence of justice and the rule of law.”
Despite the front’s decision to boycott the referendum, several opposition groups and parties have opted to instead campaign for a “no” vote, including some that are members of the NSF.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party, a founding party of the NSF, will make a decision regarding boycott depending on the stance of Egypt’s judges. Nonetheless, the party has already started campaigning against the draft constitution, said foreign relations committee chairman Hussein Gohar.
Jermeen Nasr, founding member of ElBaradei’s Al-Dostour Party, said the youth of the party would campaign for a “no” vote, despite the official position of the party to boycott.
Former presidential candidate Abdel Moniem Aboul Fotouh’s Strong Egypt Party released a statement saying it “appreciated the president’s response in repealing his decree.”
The party “does not appreciate the way the constitution was passed through the Constituent Assembly” but will nonetheless participate in the referendum, voting against the constitution because it does not “meet the demands of the Egyptian people.”