Update: Elections commission secretary general won’t supervise referendum

Advisers to President Mohamed Morsy and the head of the committee overseeing the constitutional referendum resigned Wednesday evening in the wake of violence and controversy surrounding the political standoff over President Mohamed Morsy’s constitutional declaration and violence that followed.

Zaghloul al-Balshy, the secretary general of the high elections commission, said he won’t participate in observing a referendum considering the bloodshed over it, state-run MENA news service reported.

Balshy called on Morsy to cancel the new constitutional declaration immediately. Youm7 newspaper reported Wednesday that the committee formed earlier Wednesday with a Justice Ministry decision.

Four of Morsy’s advisers also resigned Wednesday evening, as a political standoff escalated into clashes between supporters of the president and his opponents.

Presidential adviser Saif Abdel Fattah told Al-Jazeera on the phone that he has resigned in protest of the clashes that took place outside the presidential palace on Wednesday.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is a narrow-minded and mummified group not worthy of Egypt,” he said. “I cannot bear seeing our young die.”

“The young are the ones who made the revolution, and who are still paying the price,” he added. “And the crisis could have been resolved, had the Brotherhood not been only working for its own interests.”

“I am going to unite the young and work with them,” he said.

Presidential adviser Ayman al-Sayyad also resigned on Wednesday. He tweeted that he and other advisers had resigned a week ago but did not announce it.  Amr al-Leithy also tweeted that he had resigned last week to protest the constitutional declaration.

Mohamed Esmat Seif al-Dawla resigned, saying he held Morsy responsible for the clashes and that it could has been avoided with some consensus.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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