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Mursi decision needed for armed forces to guard referendum

Monday, December 03, 2012 12:55 PM 
A soldier guards as people wait in line outside a polling station in Cairo, May 23, 2012. Egyptians began voting freely on Wednesday for the first time to pick their president in a wide open election that pits Islamists against men who served under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak - REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

A military source who preferred to remain anonymous said on Monday that a presidential decision is required for Egypt's armed forces to guard the December 15 referendum, a local newspaper reported.

A decision of this kind would have to be made by the head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Armed Forces (who is now President Mohamed Mursi), the source said.  

An Islamist-led assembly finished drafting a controversial charter on Friday allowing it to be put to a referendum for the people to vote on it in less than two weeks.

The source insisted that the armed forces are qualified to carry on the task as they have during the transition period where a group of military generals ruled the country following Hosni Mubarak's ouster.

Armed forces collaborated with Egypt's police to guard last year's referendum and this year's parliamentary and presidential elections.

The armed forces are yet to receive instructions in regards to this month's referendum, the source said, adding that even if they do not guard polling stations, they will likely be assigned to secure public installments and other key locations.

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