Egyptian men pose with their passports while queuing to enter their country's embassy to place their votes in a referendum on Egypt's new constitution in Amman January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Majed Jaber
CAIRO: Egypt's powerful army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Saturday urged Egyptians to participate "in force" in next week's referendum on a new constitution, billed as the first stage in the nation's democratic transition.
On July 3, Sisi overthrew Mohamed Morsi after massive protests against the Islamist president's turbulent one-year rule. His ouster triggered unrest that has deeply polarised the country.
Sisi urged the public to "assume their national responsibility of participating in force in the referendum in order to build a democratic and modern state that satisfies all Egyptians," state news agency MENA quoted him as saying at a conference of high-ranking officials.
The referendum on a revised constitution will be held on January 14 and 15 to replace the one suspended when Morsi was toppled.
Sisi said Egypt was at the start of a "decisive stage" in its history, and the referendum will be "the first stage in the implementation of the road map after two unique revolutions that showed close ties between the people and the national army".
The military-installed authorities outlined a road map for a democratic transition after the ouster of Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president.
The plan provides for a referendum on a new constitution, followed by presidential and parliamentary elections by the middle of 2014.
Sisi also urged the security forces to remain alert during the referendum to "create a safe atmosphere, so that the people can express their opinions freely".
Morsi's Islamist supporters have called for a boycott of the referendum amid a brutal crackdown targeting them that has left more than 1,000 people killed in street clashes and thousands more arrested.
Your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.
Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.
Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)
Egypt's president said Saturday that securing the Bab al-Mandab access to the Red Sea off Yemen's coast is a top...
Sisi is to travel to China for the first time since he won a May election, in the wake of European and US tours, his...
An Egyptian criminal court sentences ousted Islamist President Mohammad Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing...
Hundreds of professionals from the hospitality and food service industry flocked Monday to the BEIRUT International...
FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE