BREAKING NEWS Preliminary Results Show Egyptian Constitution Approved; Opposition Charges Fraud


U.S. media is reporting that opposition leaders are charging that fraud was committed in the referendum on the country’s Islamist supported constitution. According to an LA Times report:

December 23, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CAIRO — Egypt’s opposition on Sunday charged that fraud was committed during a referendum on the nation’s Islamist-backed constitution, which preliminary results indicated had been approved by voters. The dispute augured more ill will and public confrontation between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and their opponents. The constitution, which went before voters Saturday in a second and final round of balloting, was approved by 64%, according to an initial count, the state news agency reported. Leaders from the National Salvation Front, or NSF, the coalition of leading nationalist, left-wing and moderate politicians, accused Islamists of systematic fraud and urged the government to not put the constitution into effect until an investigation could be carried out. ‘We documented a set of irregularities that are clearly evidence of systemic violations,’ said Amr Hamzawy, an NSF leader and political science professor. ‘We would like the responsible party to investigate and report the conclusions before the final results of the referendum are announced,’ he added, referring to Egypt’s High Elections Commission. The NSF said it had compiled a list of 1,500 violations in the referendum’s first round on Dec. 15 and said a similar number of abuses occurred Saturday. Charges include voters being turned away and judges who served as observers turning up late at voting centers where the constitution was expected to fail. NSF leaders warned that the constitution amounted to President Mohamed Morsi’s first step in a plan to build an Islamist dictatorship. ‘We see that our people are on the verge of a series of laws that will ravage general freedoms and will humiliate the poor in this nation,’ said Hamdeen Sabahi, one of the NSF’s leaders and a former presidential candidate.”

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