And here is my experience in the Constitution referendum 2014.
First of all since the 20th century Egyptians had 25 referendums where each one witnessed unprecedented turnout and the answer was always Yes.
Second of all “No” was not taken as an option , in fact people were arrested for promoting “NO” , a thing that did not happen amidst the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule unfortunately. If the MB accused those who were against their constitution to be infidels , the supporters of this constitution accuse those who are against of being traitor.
Third this referendum was not about the Constitution itself as a document as much it is about creating an alleged legitimacy of the current regime to counter the alleged legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was also about giving a support to General Abdel Fatah El Sisi in order to runpresidency and also to tease the Muslim Brotherhood.Yes teasing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Of course there were other reasons on why the voters went to vote without even reading a single article in it for the hope of finding stability and welfare as the intensive media campaign kept telling them.
Despite Constitution 2014 is slightly better than Constitution 2012 I reject it.
I reject this constitution mainly because of the army related articles and it is not the military trials for civilians articlebut also other articles that gives the minister of defense more power than the president and how for the upcoming 8 years the army will be a state inside the state for real. Unfortunatelynobody wants to read history or learn from our historical mistakes. The last time the army was a state inside a state without even constitutional support we had the six days war defeat and that is what I fear most especially now with that silly comparison of Nasser to El Sisi.
Another reason why I reject this constitution is how many of its articles from rights and so on are left to be determined according to the law. The laws will be issued by the parliament which will witness apparently the return of the NDP in a new shape besides the current puppet parties that do not open their bloody mouth against the violations of human rights in the past few months. I was between two choices either to go and say No or boycott. I never left a single election as you may know even during the days of Mubarak when I became officially a voterbut it was as if God had another plan. In the past 48 hours I had a terrible fever and flu. I could not leave my bed in the past 48 hours except forbathroom. I have a terrible cough that does not make me sleep easily so you can imagine what I had to choose.
Yes I had to boycott.
I do not feel sad about. Yesterday I read that according to news reports the majority of voters were mostly from elderly and +40 years old segment while there was a noticeable absence of a very important segment in Egypt : The youth segment from 18 to 30 years old. Yes the youth were absentand nobody can not deny.
By the way In the past few weeks the mainstream media and public figures adopting the Yes campaign only of course had one message: Those who will boycott the referendum and will vote against the constitution are traitors, Not Egyptians , Not patriotic and MB. So yes according to the mainstream media and those public figures speaking in the media I amtraitor for boycotting the referendum.
Ironically this constitution is allegedly will put the first pillar of democracy and yet all the government and the majority who support this constitution were against the simplest principle of democracy attacking those who would say no to the constitution and those who boycotted in the most disgusting way ever. By the waymy mom went and voted in the referendum. She voted against it. In her polling station she told me that many of the voters did not show up according to the voters registry where she supposed to sign her name. There was no privacy for her to vote. The supervisor told her that it was not a real problem because "everybody was saying yes" and "You are going to vote Yes , are not you !?". My mom told her that even if the people were voting Yes they should know their rights as voters and to have privacy in a nice way before covering the ballot paper with her hand and choosing No before folding it and putting it in the ballot box.
I was worried on my mom and my aunt as well because they were voting against the constitution and in those two days human rights lawyers were reporting that people were actually arrested and harrassed for voting NO.
This won’t be the last referendum or the last constitution for sure and one day with God’s will we will have a constitution that will put this country on the right track in the 21st century , a constitution that really will be worth all the sacrifices we presented as people in the past years.