Egypt Opposition Backs Off Referendum Boycott

Military Cancels Demand for Talks

Clearing a path for the Egyptian constitutional referendum to go forward on Saturday, the Egyptian opposition blocs have reversed their call for a boycott, instead urging their supporters to try to vote the constitution down.

The military, which had previously ordered the opposition to agree to negotiations with President Morsi, has also backed down from that demand, which apparently is no longer necessary if the constitutional vote will happen.

The vote was originally scheduled for Saturday only, but is now being expanded to two days, staggered in different cities, because of the number of boycotting judges. Officials said that the judges that agreed to oversee the vote were only enough to do about half of the country each day.

The ruling Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) expects the constitution to pass with a relatively wide margin. The opposition is expressing confidence it will fail, while condemning the drafted document as too religious in character and not granting sufficient rights to Egypt’s Christian minority.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.