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Egyptians prepare for controversial constitutional referendum vote

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 01:31

Jan.13-Egyptians prepare to go to the polls to vote in a referendum on a new constitution, which would replace one signed into law by deposed President Mohamed Mursi a little more than a year ago. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Political posters pop up all across Egypt. The country is set to start voting Tuesday in a referendum on a new constitution. This new document would replace the one signed by ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. Many have predicted a yes vote, giving the army-backed government support for its overthrow of Mursi. At a meeting in the Ministry of Health's National Training Institute, constituent assembly head Amr Moussa described the constitution as a reflection of Egypt's current situation. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, AMR MOUSSA, SAYING: "This constitution is a reflection of Egypt's current situation, along with the challenges Egypt and the Egyptian society face. Therefore, there is a great focus on freedoms, rights and the benefits of the Egyptian people without neglecting any segment of society." The new text will likely give a final push to a presidential bid by the man who deposed Mursi, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. While most of the Cairo billboards support the referendum, some political groups are boycotting the event. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF OPPOSITION MOVEMENT 6 APRIL DEMOCRATIC FRONT, MOHAMED FAWAZ, SAYING: "We can never participate and give legitimacy to a regime which fools the people and tries to act like it is a civil democratic regime. It is neither democratic nor civil." The Interior Ministry will deploy 220,000 policemen and 500 combat units to oversee security.

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Egyptians prepare for controversial constitutional referendum vote

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 01:31