The Strong Egypt Party announced on Monday that it would boycott the referendum of the proposed new Constitution. The party is not a supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
The party had decided to take part in the referendum and advised people to vote "no" to the Constitution. According to a party statement, human rights violations and anti-democratic measures taken by the interim government in the run up to the vote, which started today, pushed it to suspend its participation. Some party members were arrested while posting flyers calling for a "no" vote.
"This referendum must be conducted according to true democratic measures that give full freedom to everyone," the party said. "There must be an atmosphere of political and civil freedom prevailing during the process." It stressed that it is committed to calling people to vote in a "legal, political and democratic" way, it being the only way, the party believes, to put an end to political differences in Egypt.
The statement mentioned several irregularities in the referendum process, including the allowance to cast votes outside voters' cities of residence, the mass media propaganda campaign and the use of public money and resources to support the "yes" campaign.
"From the beginning, the Strong Egypt Party was part of the June 30 revolution, when the people took to the streets calling for early presidential elections based on transparent Constitutional mechanisms in order to end the political differences," it insisted. "However, the party clearly objected to what happened on July 3 and all the consequent violations and arrests, as well as the return of Mubarak's regime in politics and security affairs."
As a political solution for the current impasse, the Strong Egypt Party renewed its call for a referendum on the interim government's "Roadmap", which it believes will reaffirm the people's sovereignty over the other institutions of the state.