Egyptian Administrative State Council’s Judges Club on Monday accepted to oversee the constitutional referendum scheduled for December 15 but with conditions.
The club stipulated that the government should protect polling committees and public buildings including headquarters of the higher committee supervising the referendum, Hamdy Yassin, head of the club, said at a press conference Monday.
The government should also work to end the sit-in outside the Supreme Constitutional Court by supporters of President Mohammed Mursi, Yassin added.
Since December 2, some of Mursi supporters were protesting outside the Supreme Constitutional Court fearing that the judges to issue verdicts to dissolve the current Shura Council or the Constituent Assembly that wrote the draft constitution.
Opponents of Mursi, meanwhile, rejected the draft constitution and called for protests on Tuesday.
Yassin said judges should also be protected, adding that “it is the right of every judge to withdraw from the process if he is insulated by the voters or by the police… we will not allow this.”
Judges in Egypt have initially announced their boycott to the referendum after Mursi announcing his new sweeping grab on power on November 22.
In his power grab, Mursi curbed the independency of the judicial and protected the Islamist-dominated constitution-drafting body and the Shura Council from dissolution.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Mursi has temporarily given the military the authority to arrest civilians to help safeguard a constitutional referendum planned for Saturday, Reuters reported the official gazette as saying.
The order, gazetted late on Sunday, said the military would support police and liaise with them to protect “vital institutions” until the referendum result is declared.
The decree gave army officers the right to make arrests and transfer detainees to prosecutors.
Despite its limited nature, the edict will revive memories of Hosni Mubarak’s emergency law, also introduced as a temporary expedient, under which military or state security courts tried thousands of political dissidents and Islamist militants.