Campaigning underway for divisive Egypt referendum
CAIRO: Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi’ supporters and the secular opposition ranged against them were on Thursday rolling out campaigns over a divisive new constitution that has sparked weeks of protests.
The staggered referendum to decide the text is to begin on Saturday across half of Egypt, including in Cairo and Alexandria. The rest of the country will vote a week later, on December 22.
The protests, and over near-absolute powers that Morsi gave himself for two weeks to push it through, have failed to sway the president from his path.
“It’s you who will pay the price if you vote yes. No to the constitution,” said an online campaign advertisement by an opposition group called April 6. The pro-referendum camp has released videos with a song that goes “this constitution is not too bad, it was written by a committee of heroes”. It also has supporters holding “Yes to the constitution” placards along main roads. Fears of violence remain after violent clashes in Cairo last week in which eight people were killed and more than 600 injured. afp