World Bulletin/News Desk
Egypt's Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday asked army commanders and officers taking part in securing the nation's referendum on an amended version of the 2012 constitution to be "firm" and "strong" against attempts to impede the voting process, which is scheduled for January 14-15 January.
"Officers and soldiers have to be on the highest degree of alert and strength," al-Sisi told the troops in a televised address.
The referendum on the amended constitution is the first step in Egypt's transitional roadmap, which also includes presidential and parliamentary elections.
The date for both elections has not been decided yet, but the army leadership pins high hopes on voter turnout in the referendum to give the roadmap voter legitimacy.
The army has deployed 160,000 troops to secure the vote across the nation, while the Interior Ministry has also deployed tens of thousands of policemen for the same purpose.
Al-Sisi asked his army personnel to coordinate their work with policemen.
"We will remain on standby until this great mission comes to an end in a peaceful manner," he said.
On Saturday, al-Sisi hinted he might contest in the country's presidential elections, planned to take place sometime this year, if asked by the people and mandated by the army.Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2014, 15:58