Saturday, December 15, 2012

Remarks on the Egyptian Referendum

Article 3 of the Constitutional Declaration promulgated by Morsi on 8 December 2012 set“15 December 2012” as the date to hold the referendum on the draft constitution for Egypt.

On 12 December, Morsi issued a Presidential Decree stating that the referendum would be held in two stages, i.e: 15 and 22 December.

A constitutional declaration can only be annulled or amended by another constitutional declaration, or by a constitution. A Presidential Decree doesn’t have the same legal effect as that of a constitutional declaration. Therefore, Morsi can’t change the date set by the Constitutional Declaration by means of a Presidential Decree. As such, his Decree violates Article 3 of the Constitutional Declaration, and is therefore null and void, and without any legal effect.

The referendum must be held in one stage and in one day, as primarily set forth in Article 60 of the Constitutional Declaration promulgated by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on 30 March 2011.

Article 60 provides that the referendum on the draft constitution must be held within 15 days from the day the Constituent Assembly terminates its work. On this basis, even the second stage of the referendum exceeds the 15 days provided for by Article 60 !

 
Based on all the foregoing, the whole process of the referendum is unconstitutional.

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