CAIRO - Egypt said Monday it will allow six groups to monitor a referendum on the revised constitution that is being drafted, although no date has been announced for the vote.
CAIRO – Egypt said Monday it will allow six groups to monitor a referendum on the revised constitution that is being drafted, although no date has been announced for the vote.
The referendum is the first key step of a roadmap adopted by the country’smilitary-installed authorities after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
The roadmap envisages that the referendum on the constitution be held before the end of the year and that it would be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
“Sixty-seven local NGOs (non-government organisations) and six foreign NGOs will be allowed to monitor the referendum,” Hisham Mokhtar, spokesman for the High Election Commission told reporters.
Mokhtar did not name the foreign NGOs.
He said the date for the referendum is yet to be set, but it will be held over two days.
Egyptian officials, however, told AFP that the referendum was most likely to be held in the second half of January after Christian holidays.
Christians, mostly Copts, are a significant minority in Egypt and are represented on the 50-member panel that is drafting the revised constitution.
Copts celebrate Christmas on January 7.
Morsi had rushed the previous constitution through a referendum in December 2012, after declaring his decisions beyond judicial review, sparking an intractable political crisis.
Drafted by a mainly Islamist committee, Morsi’s constitution bolstered conservative interpretations of Islam as a primary source of legislation.
It was suspended by Egypt’s new rulers after his ouster.