|Egyptians waiting to cast their ballots in Cairo|
The historical Egyptian Constitutional referendum held on 15 and 22 December has been finished, and the votes’ counting is ongoing though there are already unofficial results of the referendum available.
According to those results the draft of the new Constitution will pass with nearly 64%. The gap between the “Yes” and “No” votes is small, and the voters’ turnout was considered being relatively low with only around 32% voters casting their ballots, but the Muslim Brotherhood already claims an important victory as they see the approving of the new Constitution as the big step forward to the development of the country and achieving of stability after long transitional period.
Oppositional forces however do not accept the results of the referendum claiming the voting process was “rigged” and held with the numerous violations and with the lack of judicial supervision as the judges refused to observe the electoral process due to their protest against the current situation in the country, Constitutional draft and the recent moves made by Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy.
National Salvation Front of Egypt which is the umbrella oppositional groups has issued a statement that the opposition will recognize the results of the referendum but politically they will not accept them and their official position regarding the Constitution and referendum remains unchanged.
The official results of the referendum are expected to be announced not earlier than Monday, 24 December 2012. But according to the preliminary results the Constitution will pass with nearly 64% votes approving it.
I would like to share here the information published on Ahram-Online and providing the results of the referendum.
Here is the link where you can check the report regarding full unofficial results of the referendum, with the numbers of votes in each governorate.
And here is the link for the article which I’d like to share with you in my blog.
Egyptians approve first post-uprising constitution
The second and final phase of referendum ends as around 64 per cent of Egyptians approve the country's divisive draft constitution
Hatem Maher, Sunday 23 Dec 2012
|Egyptians voting in the second stage of the referendum. Here|
you can see Egypt's Prime Minsiter Hesham Qandeel waiting to
Egypt's hotly disputed draft constitution, the first following last year's uprising, is sure to pass after unofficial results Sunday show that around 64 per cent of Egyptians voted in favour.
A resounding victory in the second phase of the constitutional referendum gave a much-needed boost to Islamists, who believe the new constitution will pave the way for a smooth and swift transition to democracy under President Mohamed Morsi.
The Nile Delta Menoufiya Governorate, which gave former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq a large nod of approval during June elections, marginally opposed the constitution in the second phase of the referendum, joining Cairo and Gharbiya, who voted the document down in last week's first phase.
The "yes" vote won in the first phase by a relatively narrow 56.5 per cent but was able to extend their margin of victory on Sunday.
Official results, however, are not expected until Monday.
Islamists will be looking to maintain their electoral prowess when the elections for Egypt's lower house of parliament, which was dissolved by a court order earlier this year, take place within two months.
|Continuing counting of the votes|
Egypt's hotchpotch grouping of Islamists and Salafists, who have won every election since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, outmuscled the more secular-minded opposition, which argue the contentious national charter disregards the rights of Christians, women, workers and farmers among others.
The opposition also voiced reservations over many contentious articles, including those defining the role of the military and the judiciary, and what they perceive as the vague description of the "principles of Sharia," which is laid out as the primary source of legislation.
"The National Salvation Front will hold a news conference noon Sunday to announce its stance and outline its plans for the coming period," read a statement by the NSF, which was founded by prominent political figures Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabbahi.
The NSF and several other opposition forces reported many voting irregularities, with some going as far as to question the legitimacy of the whole process.
"Until now, the Supreme Electoral Commission has not investigated the violations committed in the first round. Will they investigate the irregularities after the announcement of the final result? A rigged referendum and invalid constitution," well-known writer Alaa Al-Aswany, who supported Morsi in the presidential elections but has become one of his staunchest opponents lately, stated on Twitter.
The divisive constitution is likely to widen the conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters and their opponents, who believe the influential Islamist group and its Salafist allies are focused on seizing political power after being oppressed for decades by former presidents Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Anwar El-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.
However, the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), believes the passing of the new constitution might provide a chance to begin working towards an accord with opposition rather than give rise to further disputes.
|Massive rallies and demonstrations from the both sides of|
Egypt's rivals held in Egypt
"We hope that approving the new constitution will be a historic chance to bring all political forces together on the basis of mutual respect," Mourad Ali, the FJP's media adviser, said on his Facebook page.
"We are aiming to continue building our institutions, and together, we can achieve the goals of the glorious January revolution."
Eight were killed in deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi in front of the presidential palace in Cairo earlier this month, electrifying the build-up to the constitution referendum.
Regular clashes also occurred in a handful of governorates, including Egypt's second largest city, Alexandria.
Following a month of bloodshed and political gridlock, it remains to be seen what effect the approval of the new constitution will have on the Arab world's most populous country.