Brotherhood and FJP allege referendum was rigged

Brotherhood and FJP allege referendum was rigged

Egyptian Muslim brotherhood supporters march in al-Ayaat village at Giza, during the vote on a new constitution on January 14, 2014. Egyptians queued to vote on a new constitution amid high security, in a referendum likely to launch a presidential bid by the army chief who overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.  (AFP PHOTO / KHALED KAMEL)

Egyptian Muslim brotherhood supporters march in al-Ayaat village at Giza, during the vote on a new constitution on January 14, 2014.
(AFP PHOTO / KHALED KAMEL)

The Muslim Brotherhood, which boycotted the constitutional referendum, alleged the “illegitimate” poll was rigged. The group accused authorities of inflating turnout numbers, which the Supreme Elections Commission (SEC) said exceeded those of the 2012 constitutional referendum.

“In 2012, there were not calls for boycotts and most of the [political] forces, if not all of them, participated in the referendum and the participation rate was 32.9%,” said the Brotherhood statement issued on Sunday. “This time calls for a boycott permeated society and the result was 38.6%. How?”

The Muslim Brotherhood also accused chairman of the SEC Nabil Salib of displaying “bias and lack of impartiality” when he attributed  low youth turnout to ongoing school and university examinations; the Brotherhood maintains that young Egyptians had chosen not to go to the polls and protested instead.

The group’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), echoed similar sentiments, claiming that the “whole world saw with their own eyes the number of participants,” and rejected the official numbers announced. The FJP also called the boycott a “serious blow to the coup and the forces supporting it,” saying that the referendum results were similar to that of the rigged 2010 parliamentary elections.

“The FJP is confident the Egyptian people are able to reignite the 25 January revolution again very soon,” said the party in its statement, saying that those responsible for the “falsification of the will of the people” would be held accountable.

The Brotherhood-backed Anti-Coup Alliance, which has continued to call for demonstrations in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, also made similar allegations of rigged poll numbers, calling the government-backed roadmap that of “America and the Zionist enemy”.

The Salafi Al-Nour Party, the only major Islamist party to support the charter, praised the referendum proceedings in the face of “attempts to destroy the state and its institutions”.

“Al-Nour Party, as part of the fabric of this nation, did its duty and mobilised its leaders and cadres in all governorate surging people to participate in the referendum,” said the conservative Islamist group on Sunday.

“This referendum is a message to all inside and outside Egypt that the Egyptian people almost unanimously reject attempts to spread chaos and destruction of the state and society and the division of the country, the people, and the army” said the party in its statement, adding that those who opposed the referendum “must reconsider their calculations and attitudes and begin a new phase of cooperation on building”.

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