Misr Al-Qawia Party urged Egyptians on Monday to vote No in the upcoming constitutional referendum, while strongly criticising the ongoing transition following 30 June.
“We will not succumb to any political blackmail, be it from the authorities or the Brotherhood,” said head of the party and former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh at the party’s press conference, in which it announced its position on the proposed amended constitution. “We will not yield except… to our principles,” he added.
A statement issued by the moderate Islamist party said it had supported the cause of early presidential elections and saw it as “the only alternative available to Egypt in order to preserve its democratic path.” The party said its members had attempted to advise ousted president Mohamed Morsi to call for early elections and his advisors “to no avail” and resulted in a “bloody and repressive counterrevolution”.
The party blamed the “relapse in the democratic process” on Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s rejection of compromise and the “unwarranted interference” by the armed forces “with the blessing of some political forces”. The party also said that the roadmap announced by Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 3 July was not sanctioned by the Egyptian people and was followed by repressive security and led to a referendum being “forcibly imposed on the Egyptian people”.
Misr Al-Qawia also slammed the government’s “exceptional measures” and tightening grip of the security apparatus to carry out oppressive practices that “created strife” and “dragged institutions that are supposed to be natural and impartial into the political battlefield”.
The party also strongly criticised the Constituent Assembly, which they claimed “did not represent the natural diversity found in the Egyptian people” and worked in secret with a real lack in transparency and community dialogue, which led to “distorted constitutional amendments”.
The party’s statement said that the amended constitution had many shortcomings, including giving the military too much autonomy and the continuation of the military trials for which the party had criticised the 2012 constitution.
Aboul Fotouh’s party urged Egyptians to vote No in the upcoming referendum to avoid the “manipulation of the will of the voters”.
After the constitution was finalised, Misr Al-Qawia voiced its dissatisfaction with the draft and the formation of the committee, saying the document would create “military guardianship” over elected authorities and allowed for overlap between different authorities in the executive authority’s advantage. It also criticised the amendments for failing to create a basis for transitional justice.
Misr Al-Qawia also voiced its rejection of the 2012 constitution, which was passed by a predominantly Islamist-influenced constituent assembly.