Maasooum Marzook, former ambassador and foreign affairs minister assistant of the Mohammed Morsi era, is well-known critic of the Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government. He is actively participating in political life of Egypt and has founded The People’s Democratic Party. He is not exactly a nationwide popular figure, however he is influential in his own circle of supporters. At August 5 he called for referendum to be held with the sole question: “Do you accept that the current regime stays in power?”.
Of course, in the framework of Egyptian law codex such referendum is impossible as it redundant to the process called ‘elections’. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has won such ‘referendum’ twice in a row. The referendum idea is needed only by some opposition fractions to keep the attention focused. It boost up opposition morale and does nothing helpful. The calls to the referendums of such sorts is a routine practice of political struggle, not the legitimate political process.
The call for referendum has been accompanied by the wave of critical statements on the Abdel Fattas al-Sisi rule. Among other statements Marzook declared that could Sisi rejects the ‘referendum’, opposition groups would convene ‘popular conference’ at Tahrir Square on August 31 – which is nothing more than provocation. Subsequently, Maasooum Marzook was detained and held by plain suits. He was transferred to unknown facility with no further information available. There is a rumour that he was not alone: seven more opposition figures were also detained.
“Security forces took my father, Maasoum Marzouk, from our home without explanation and without cause just for practicing his constitutional rights of calling for a referendum,” Maisara Marzouk said in an interview to CNN.
Detainment was confirmed by Maasoum Marzouk’s lawyer, Khaled Ali. There are no official accusations pushed. Egypt’s Ministry of Interior did not reply to a request for comment.