Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

middle east - do not use

Egyptians back constitutional reform

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-21

According to final results announced Sunday, 77% of Egyptians who took part in a referendum on constitutional amendments allowing greater civil liberties backed the proposed changes, paving the way for elections.

AP - Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved changes in the constitution, opening the way for parliamentary and presidential elections within months, according to final results from a landmark referendum announced Sunday.
 
Opponents fear the swift timetable could boost the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood and members of the former ruling party.
 
The Brotherhood had campaigned heavily for a “yes” vote in the referendum. Critics say that since it and the former ruling party are the best organized political forces in the country, they stand to gain the most in an early election - which will bring in Egypt’s first democratically elected government to replace the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
 

The results are likely to open a frenzied campaign season, with liberal pro-democracy forces scrambling to put together political parties to contest the upcoming races.

 
The parliamentary and presidential elections are key because the next legislature and government are to lead the process of wider change, including likely drawing up a new constitution.
 
Many of those who led the wave of popular protests that ousted Mubarak on Feb. 11 want a radically new document that would break the total hold that the presidency held over government during Mubarak’s rule. They worry that the Brotherhood or former ruling party could dominate the process.
 
In an interview with daily El-Shorouk, a top member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said that the council will issue “a constitutional declaration” right after the announcement of the final vote to lay down next steps, with approval leading to a timetable for parliament and presidential elections.
 
Elections commission chief Ahmed Attiya said 41 percent of 45 million eligible voters cast ballots in Saturday’s referendum. More than 14 million - 77.2 percent -  voted in favor, with around 4 million - 22.8 percent - opposed.
 
Millions of Egyptians waited for hours Saturday to cast their first free ballots in half a century on the package of constitutional changes. The first test of Egypt’s transition to democracy also offered ominous hints of widening sectarian division.
 
Many were drawn to the polls in a massive, last-minute effort by the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Among those most fearful of the Brotherhood’s rising power were Egypt’s estimated 8 million Coptic Christians, whose leaders rallied the faithful to vote “no.”
 
Reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei and a group of his supporters were pelted with rocks, bottles and cans outside a polling center at Cairo’s Mokattam district in an attack he blamed on followers of the old regime.
 
The day was otherwise almost entirely peaceful.
 
Hundreds of Egyptians formed lines outside polling centers before they opened. They snaked along the streets in Cairo and other cities, with men and women standing in separate lines as is customary in the conservative and mainly Muslim nation.
 
Saturday’s vote was by far the freest since the military seized power in a 1952 coup, toppling the monarchy and ending decades of a multiparty system that functioned while Britain was Egypt’s colonial master. Only men with military backgrounds have ruled Egypt since.
 
While Mubarak’s overthrow has left Egyptians euphoric about their newfound freedoms, many are also worried about the social tensions and instability that could spiral in the wake of the autocratic leader’s departure.
 
Christian-Muslim clashes this month left at least 13 killed and more than 100 wounded in the worst sectarian clashes in years. On Jan. 1, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing at least 22 worshippers and wounding scores. A few days later, a policeman shot dead an elderly Christian man on a train.
 
The Brotherhood, which has strongly campaigned for the adoption of the changes, advocates the installment of an Islamic government in Egypt. The ambivalence of its position on what role women and minority Christians play under their hoped-for Islamic government - like whether they could run for president or be judges - worry large segments of society.
 
The military, in a bid to get the vote out, has decreed that they would be allowed to cast ballots at any polling center in the country with their national ID cards the only required proof of identity. They were required to dip their index finger in ink after voting to prevent multiple balloting.

Date created : 2011-03-20

  • EGYPT

    Unprecedented numbers vote on constitutional reform

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Muslim Brotherhood urges support for constitutional changes

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Tahrir Square youths urge 'No' vote on constitution

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)