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The farcical referendum

March 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

It was a memorable day in the history of forged polls in Egypt, reminiscent of the 1950s when referendums were corrupt and passed by 99 per cent, and also prevalent during Abdel Nasser’s era. The famous writer and journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal was the godfather of Abdel Nasser’s era and has also been made the godfather of the bloody coup by the coup’s leader, General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Because the man is still living in the 1950s and 60s, and he is hard set into the mentality of oppression, tyranny, and totalitarianism, the result matched his destructive advice, making Egypt the spectacle and laughing stock of the world!

They wanted to give their fascist coup legitimacy, albeit a false one, so they held this absurd referendum that was boycotted by most Egyptians, especially its youth. However, the ballot boxes were already prepared and filled with cards well before the day of the referendum. All they wanted was to outdo the number of participants in the 2012 constitutional referendum, but they were faced with the dilemma of how many people were saying “no”, despite the fact that no advertising or campaigning against the alleged and invalid constitution was actually allowed. Anyone calling for people to reject the constitution, or even carrying a “no” sign or poster, was arrested. They even shamelessly and boldly said that the referendum card only had one box with “yes”, and only yes, not to mention the media’s unprecedented incitement campaign to push the people to vote “yes”, which was promoted by religious figures, artists and sports figures. Moreover, Al-Sisi begged the people not to disappoint and embarrass him, making the referendum seem a matter of life and death, as said by the interior minister of the coup himself.

They were disturbed by the weak turnout abroad, so they rushed to fill the ballot boxes with the correct number of “yes” cards they had set in advance so that they would be able to achieve the percentage they wanted to announce to the world. They were the object of jokes in the international media, as well as by foreign writers and analysts. The era of 99 per cent acceptance has been long gone around the world, and totalitarian regimes no longer exist except for in North Korea, but the coup leaders want to turn back the clock. The question now is: has the referendum given them the legitimacy they were looking for and freed them from international isolation?

Catherine Ashton, a supporter of the coup, along with US Secretary of State John Kerry, immediately made a statement after the referendum saying that Egypt has started its path to democracy. But we ask them, whether or not Egypt after the 25 January revolution, when it held fair legislative and presidential elections witnessed by the whole world, in which Egypt’s first civilian president was elected since the time of the Pharaohs, is still making strides towards democracy, and if the overthrow of this president by means of a military coup was actually a step backwards. Would you allow for the defence minister in your country to overthrow your president, kidnap him, and appoint another president to act as a cover for the military’s rule of your countries? Or, if following the path of democracy brought the Islamic trend to power, then it is ok to overthrow it and disregard democracy?

These Western countries have lost their credibility and have been exposed to the free people of the world for what they are. We are not concerned with this fake referendum or with its result, because falsehood is always false. The coup is false and everything stemming from it is false as well. Our revolution will continue until, God willing, the coup is overthrown. It is only at that moment that Catherine Ashton and John Kerry can say that Egypt is on the path of democracy, but will they dare say it?

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.