WASHINGTON : US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for a “transparent” constitutional referendum in Egypt to ensure all voters cast their vote “freely” on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In a phone call to his Egyptian counterpart General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Hagel discussed “the importance of the constitutional referendum for Egypt’s overall political transition,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a readout of the conversation.
The Pentagon chief “stressed the importance of a transparent referendum in which all Egyptians have the opportunity to cast their vote freely,” and urged al-Sisi to ensure the international and domestic observers have “full access,” Kirby said.
Egypt has been hit with waves after waves of protests and a deteriorating security situation since Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first elected president, was ousted by the military in early July, 2013.
Last month, the interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Morsi belongs, a “terrorist group”.