IMF Loan Postponed; Judges May Boycott Egypt Referendum

  • On Tuesday the Morsi administration in Egypt put off signing a vital $4.8-billion International Monetary Fund loan to Egypt. Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Said said that the loan would be delayed till such time the officials could discuss the implications of the reforms with the public. The austerity measures accompanying the loan have been severely criticized hitherto. The liberal and secular opposition gathered in Cairo called for a fresh round of demonstrations ahead of the intended referendum to approve the draft constitution. This constitution has the backing of Mr Morsi's Islamist allies.

    Meanwhile the Chairman of the Judges’ Club of Egypt, Ahmed el-Zind, announced that 90 percent of the club members had refused to oversee the referendum on Saturday. While this is not likely to prevent the referendum from taking place it can cast deep shadows on the legitimacy of the constitution itself. Egypt is deeply divided over the issue of the constitution and Cairo has been the seat of several demonstrations over the past week.