- Middle East/North Africa
Egyptian churches declared on Thursday that they would participate in the constitutional referendum scheduled for Saturday.
Church representatives had withdrawn from the Constituent Assembly in November in protest against articles that it said contradicted Egypt’s heritage and violated the rights and freedoms that Muslims and Christians have both fought for through the ages. At the time, they said that there was no consensus over the draft constitution and that the document does not reflect the pluralism of Egyptian society.
“Every citizen has the freedom to vote,” said Pope Tawadros II, while Reverend Andre Zaki, the deputy head of the Anglican Communion in Egypt, told the state-run Middle East News Agency that the church encourages its followers to vote and would not attempt to influence their decision.
Meanwhile, liberal opposition forces urge voters to vote against the new constitution, while Islamist forces have been mobilizing in its favor.
Edited translation from MENA