Parties start campaigns to support new constitution

Partisan campaigns have launched around Egypt on both sides of the constitution, some calling for voting 'yes' in the referendum on the newly amended Constitution, while others oppose it.
Strong Egypt Party, April 6 Youth Movement, the Revolutionary Socialists, and the No to Military Trials group all announced their rejection of the newly amended constitution, due to several articles, especially the one allowing military trials for civilians, and the one that requires the approval of the army to dismiss the defense minister.
“Those who voted ‘no’ to the 2012 Constitution, would also reject the 2013 constitution, because there is no difference between them in form and content, both do not hold a vision for the future or a clear philosophy,” said Mohamed al-Mohandes, a member of the Supreme Commission of Strong Egypt Party.
The constitution carries its own justification for refusal, according to Sheriff al-Roby, the head of the Information Office of April 6 Youth Movement.
“It allows military trials for civilians, immunizes Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in office for eight years, and the articles on social justice are not sufficient to achieve the goals of 25 January revolution.”
Meanwhile, Karama Party organized a publicty conference on Thursday at the party headquarters to launch a campaign to support the constitution, in the presence of party leaders and members of the 50-member Constitutional committee.
Head of the Popular Socialist Alliance Abdel Ghaffar Shokr said that the new constitution suits the new Egypt, and the dispute on an article or two does not harm the constitution as a whole, and described it to be "one of the best Egyptian constitutions throughout history."
Shokr told Al-Masry Al-Youm of the Alliance intention to coordinate with other parties and political forces to call citizens to vote “yes,” in a campaign that goes around Egypt.
Head of the Egyptian Socialist Party Ahmed Bahaa Eddin Shaaban said he will vote 'yes' to the constitution, although he does not entirely agree with all articles, but because it is the product of a revolutionary wave, and whatever needs to be amended can be done through the next parliament.
This is, however, a better constitution than the 2012 version, in Shaaban's opinion, especially with regards to public and private freedoms .
Shaaban vowed to protect the 2013 constitution and to not allow for it to fall apart, since it is the result of what he described as "the 30 June revolution," which pushed the Muslim Brotherhood away and regained a democratic state.
Popular Current spokesperson Hossam Moenes said that the new constitution is the first step on the road to a democratic civil Constitution. There are objections, especially on the article allowing military trials for civilians, but the constitution as a whole achieves the minimum of ambition .
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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