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Coup Referendum Masquerading as Democracy

Referendum of Enslavement

The military is continuing it's theatrical performance of "saving Egypt" from its own people. The upcoming act is a referendum for an illegitimate new constitution that will serve to solidify the enslavement of the Egyptian people under military control. It is yet another attempt by the military coup to wear the mask of democracy on their iron fist, the iron fist that crushed the popular will of five elections and referendums since March 19, 2011. However, the people's will rusted the iron fist on December 22, 2012 with the 64% vote for Egypt's first democratic Constitution.

The military coup is trying to cover its violent and illegitimate nature by a false democratic process in the form of a referendum on a completely changed and illegitimate constitution. The opponents of the military coup have made their decision that they will not participate in this false referendum. EADHR supports this decision to abstain from the referendum vote. What is built upon illegitimacy is illegitimate. The following reasons for this decision reflect the illegality of the process, the lack of democratic processes currently employed, and the grim future for democracy with this new farce constitution.

1. The Minister of Defense does not have the authority to suspend the Constitution. He has committed a crime and treason by violating it. Legally, the Constitution of 2012 is still in force and therefore, the coup constitution has been prepared with actions contrary to the Constitution of 2012 which requires that amendments should be reviewed and approved by elected representatives and not by a commission hand-picked by the coup authorities.

2. The coup constitution will solidify military control to the detriment of democracy in Egypt's future.

3. The coup constitution gives oversight on presidential elections, parliamentary elections, and political rights laws to the interim coup-appointed president, who is himself illegitimate. How can the people trust the very essence of democratic laws and processes to those who have imprisoned Egypt's pillars of its first democracy?

4. The coup government has excluded a large number of judges who have been referred to investigation for standing against the military coup. This reflects the coup government's ongoing exclusionary practices of any political opponents from the political process. Then, how can this rewritten constitution be representative of the Egyptian people?

5. No measures for electoral oversight and transparency in the voting process are in place. Therefore, the validity of the election results will be highly suspect.

6. This coup government has committed major atrocities against the peaceful protestors resulting in mass casualties for the first time in modern Egyptian history. How then can they be entrusted in overseeing the writing of the constitution and the voting process?

The military coup burns the fabric of Egyptian society by inciting hatred and violence intended to keep the Egyptian people divided. The systematic killing and imprisonment of all political opponents created a political vacuum that allowed General Sissi to apply authoritarian power to suppress all freedoms. Dozens of media channels were closed. Official and private media controlled by the coup are instruments of oppression and hate. The coup violently responds to peaceful protestors and anti-coup citizens, often using lethal force. Thousands of coup opponents are detained, and a law that severely restricts peaceful demonstrations was enacted and enforced. The Egyptian people's peaceful struggle against this violent coup will not stop until their legitimate democracy is restored once more. EADHR calls on all people of conscience to reject the referendum vote on this illegitimate constitution and stand with the people struggling for their basic human rights.


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