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In Egypt, a referendum looks like a vote of confidence for Mr Sissi

Supporters and opponents of the president agree on one point: at the end of the three days of voting, which ends Monday, April 22, the "yes" should prevail.

By Hélène Sallon Posted today at 10h53, updated at 12h34

Time to Play 6 min.

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"Participate, give your opinion": large black-white-red banners of the country Egyptian voters to vote by referendum, from Saturday 20 to Monday, April 22, on a draft constitutional reform.
"Participate, give your opinion": large black-white-red banners of the country Egyptian voters to vote by referendum, from Saturday 20 to Monday, April 22, on a draft constitutional reform. TAREK ABDEL HAMID / AFP

Secured by an important device of soldiers and policemen, the school of girls of Abdine, in the downtown of Cairo, looks like a party, like all the polling stations of the Egyptian capital. Large banners in black-white-red colors of the country were hung on its pediment. "Participate, give your opinion", they urge the 61 million Egyptians called to vote by referendum, from Saturday 20 to Monday, April 22, on a controversial constitutional reform project, whose flagship article could allow President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi to remain in power. power until 2030.

A campaign tube echoes in the street. "You have an appointment, my boy. Bring two friends with you, bring two neighbors, bring the family and those who are dear to you … Come build the country, our country! " spit out the speakers. Dozens of young men, campaign stickers stuck on their t-shirts or suits, and women leaning on the security gates, are calling the barges to vote this Sunday.

At the opening of the polling stations: In Egypt, a referendum to consolidate in the very long term the power of President Sissi

Minibuses with field banners carry voters. Companies and administrations chartered them to deposit their employees in the polling stations. Hagard, Hassouna has just arrived from Bab El-Louk with colleagues. This employee of a public construction company says he does not know what he really returns with this vote but had no choice but to come. With other colleagues, he joined a crowd that formed around a small table near the school. People leave with a stamped coupon.

Vote against food

"You take your coupon before going to vote and you come back to have it stamped once you've voted, showing your pink finger [les personnes ayant voté doivent tremper le doigt dans de l’encre rose]. With the stamped coupon, you can get a food package at a nearby store "exclaims an Egyptian woman who has requested anonymity and leaves in a hurry, her infant on her arm. This is exactly the same procedure followed by Abu Ahmed, a driver from Shoubra Al-Kheima, who details the contents of the package: sugar, oil, rice, macaroni, tomato sauce. "Everyone I know who went to vote does not care about the referendum, all they want is the package"he says.

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