Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Judges Club Says Will Not Oversee Referendum On Constitution

Egypt's judges will not oversee the referendum on the new constitution whose final draft is scheduled to be put to vote on Thursday, leading figures in the Judges Club said on Wednesday.

The draft which will be presented to President Mohamed Mursi is "a ruining of legitimacy and an attempt to circumvent ... established principles", Judge Abdullah Fathi, first undersecretary of the club, told Aswat Masriya.

This decision comes in protest against what Fathi called the "deliberate attempts to undermine the judicial authority starting from the endeavours to sack the prosecutor general, the contents of the draft constitution and finally the latest constitutional declaration which is an unprecedented assault on judicial authority," he added.

"How can a draft constitution be proposed in light of these withdrawals (from the constituent assembly)? And how can reserve members who replaced those who withdrew vote on a constitution they did not take part in drafting?" Fathi said in reference to liberals who quit the assembly.

The judges' stance is declared and does not need discussion, undersecretary of the Judges Club Judge Mahmoud al-Sherif said, adding that they will not supervise the referendum in light of these attempts to ruin legitimacy and infringe on the judicial authority especially following Mursi's constitutional decree.

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