News / Middle East

Senior Egyptian Judges to Supervise Morsi's Constitutional Referendum

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans as riot police, left, stand guard in front of the entrance of Egypt’s top court, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans as riot police, left, stand guard in front of the entrance of Egypt’s top court, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
VOA News
Egypt's most senior judges have agreed to supervise a December 15 referendum on a new constitution drafted primarily by Islamists, giving a boost to President Mohammed Morsi, who called the vote.

The Supreme Judicial Council Monday said it will delegate officials to oversee the referendum, rejecting a call by lower-ranked judges with the influential Judges Club for a boycott. The Judges Club issued a statement Sunday urging a boycott as a protest against Mr. Morsi's November 22 decree that bars any courts from challenging his decisions.

President Morsi needs judicial supervision of the referendum to legitimize it and the constitution drafted by his allies in a constituent assembly, which handed him the document on Saturday. Officials said they were moving ahead with referendum plans, including arrangements for Egyptian expatriates to cast their ballots at diplomatic missions abroad.

Morsi's liberal and secular opponents, including many junior judges, want to delegitimize the constitutional referendum by refusing to participate. They accuse the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly of drafting a charter that would threaten civil liberties by imposing a stricter interpretation of Islam. Liberals and Christians boycotted the constitution-drafting process.

An opposition coalition is planning a march to President Morsi's Cairo office Tuesday to denounce his planned referendum and demand that he scrap the decree that granted him what they see as near-dictatorial powers. Mr. Morsi has promised to lift the decree once the public approves a new constitution in a referendum.

Several independent Egyptian newspapers said they will join the protest by refusing to print their Tuesday editions.

Adding to the sense of crisis, Egypt's top court began an indefinite strike on Sunday, joining other courts that stopped work in recent days due to what they see as Mr. Morsi's assault on the judiciary. The judges of the Supreme Constitutional Court said they were afraid to approach their offices because thousands of Islamists had massed outside.

The top court had been due to issue rulings that could have dissolved the constituent assembly and the upper house of parliament, also controlled by Islamists. The court's Islamist critics say it is biased against them because its judges were appointed by Hosni Mubarak, a longtime anti-Islamist president who was ousted last year in a popular uprising.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Selim from: Sydney
December 03, 2012 3:48 AM
I don’t think Egypt and the Egyptians need a president
I think Egypt needs an elected Prime Minister rather than a president with a specific agenda to tackle issues like Economy, Unemployment, internal security and Human rights. Terms of service of round 2 years. A president maybe appointed by the Prime Minister to serve in a ceremonial role rather than becoming drunk with power as in the current situation.
President Morsi, in less than 3 months managed to divide his people and the nation, right in the middle
President Morsi is only supported by the extreme right not for anything other than his Islamic agenda
What we have seen so far is simply political hooliganism not Democracy
I would like to see the opposition in Parliament on TV not on the streets of Cairo!!
Democracy is not just demonstrations and vote. These are just the apparent features of it . The rest have never been practiced in Egypt since the British occupation.
Before replacing the constitution, Egyptians should review and upgrade their stand on human rights and how to device a document or a declarations that would comply with international standards.


by: Noah Olatunde from: Lagos,Nigeria
December 03, 2012 2:12 AM
president Mursi decision to arrogate himself total absolutism is preposterous and a political gimmick.it is poised to undermine Egyptian tansitions to modern democracy.in fact it is indeed a coup de act against legitimacy.I must commend his diplomatic effort to brokered a truce between Israel and Palestines.Mursi needs to focus on how to integrate oppositions and forge a prospects for Egyptian youths.


by: Paul from: Cairo
December 02, 2012 5:45 PM
The whole principle of this is wrong.

Let me push the extreme:
1. All Egyptians are stupid and must be led by a leader:
Yes or No.
100% No, 0% Yes
Obviously everyone would vote no.

but if the default or abstain answer is Yes (i.e what Mursi has said: vote or I have all power,, then of course people vote no)

So what happens when you are confronted with a constitution that 60% agree with, 40 % disagree, what do you do ?
Most would vote NO, but when faced with an alternative of dictactorship ? most will vote yes.

Egypt is a growing democracy and must be supported.
Do not let minority groups (there are many) drive the agenda.

The constitution is hundreds of articals long. Let the people decide.
What is wrong with a vote every weekend on a few articals ?
In the west this would be seen as a joke but in an emerging democracy with good prospects, and possible dire consiquences, why not ?

Egypt as a people desrve better, do not let the Brotherhood take all power, they represent a large pecentage but not all.

In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
December 02, 2012 8:01 PM
how far is too far. .It does not make sense that country has long history .and then overnight change to islamic state . liberal oppose it.judges oppese it. many common people said that moersy want to please his muslim brotherhood on the expenses of other . the old law is good and its soureces from french law. islamic law is not fit for civilzed country and he sees how many people reject it .still want paly the game of voting and he know most the egyptian are not eligible to vote .they are illiterate . how a iliterate person make a clear evalution and take his decision based on fact .how illterate person know the consequence of islamic law which cause hardship because tourist will not come to Egypt and the right of christain will diminish.
moersy stop telling liar.moersy stop use trick and deception


by: ali baba from: newyork
December 02, 2012 11:02 AM
the news will never end about how moersy impose himself. even the civil disobidence for two weeks .moresy is in defiance. He is a person who is fanatic.and use the expression my way or the highway. He will continue until the country is totally destroyed by punch of fanatic .they do it again.they did it in sudan.they did it in labonon,.they do it in afignistan .and egypt is on its way of destruction


by: Michael from: USA
December 02, 2012 10:19 AM
If the Egyptian judges could take an unselfish view of the matter and understand that national stability is at stake, they would have shown advance in understanding: see the work of Dr Eugen Bleuler [1857-1939 AD, Swiss] who spoke of the "non-I" perspective of the human-rights workers

In Response

by: Charles from: USA
December 03, 2012 9:33 AM
He who sacrifices liberty for security deserves neither, and will lose both.

- Benjamin Franklin

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid