Cairo: Egypt's opposition called for nationwide protests against a constitution backed by President Mohamed Mursi, after a vote exposed deep divisions that could undermine his efforts to build consensus for tough economic measures. The Islamist leader won a 57 percent 'yes' vote for the constitution in a first round of a referendum at the weekend, according to state media, a margin that was less than his party had hoped for and which is likely to embolden the opposition.
The second round, due to be held on Saturday, is expected to give another 'yes' as voting will be in districts seen as even more sympathetic towards Islamists, which would mean the constitution should be approved. The opposition National Salvation Front urged the organisers of the referendum to investigate what it said were widespread voting violations and ensure that the second round of balloting was properly supervised.
It called for protests across Egypt on Tuesday 'to stop forgery and bring down the invalid draft constitution' and urged organisers to consider re-running the first round of voting. Senior opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel prize winner, used his Twitter account to call for "cancelling the notorious referendum and entering dialogue to mend the rift."
The closeness of the first-round tally and the low turnout give Mursi scant comfort as he seeks to assemble support for difficult economic reforms to reduce the budget deficit. One newspaper calculated that in the first round, out of every 100 Egyptians, 18 voted 'yes', 13
09:33 AM, Dec 18, 2012
Cairo: Egyptians voted narrowly in favour of a constitution shaped by Islamists and opposed by liberals in the first round of a two-stage vote, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's party that sought a "yes" vote said on Sunday, citing its unofficial tally. One opposition official also said the vote appeared to have gone in favour of Islamists who backed the constitution, after the opposition had said late on Saturday...
10:49 AM, Dec 16, 2012