Egypt Approves New Islamist-Oriented Constitution


Global media is widely reporting that Egyptian voters have approved the Islamist-oriented constitution with a 63.8% approval vote. According to a report in the U.K Guardian newspaper:

Egypt’s electoral commission announced on Tuesday that voters had approved overwhelmingly the constitution drafted by President Mohamed Morsi’s Islamist allies. Final figures from the elections commission showed the constitution was backed by 63.8% of voters, giving Islamists their third straight victory at the polls since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution. The yes vote, on an official turnout of 32.9%, paves the way for a parliamentary election in about two months’ time. Morsi’s leftist, liberal, secularist and Christian opponents had taken to the streets to protest, saying the new constitution would dangerously mix politics and religion, but the president insists it offers sufficient protection for minorities and is necessary to end two years of turmoil and political uncertainty that has wrecked the economy. Standard and Poor’s cut Egypt’s long-term credit rating on Monday. Hours before the result was announced, the authorities imposed a new ban on traveling in or out of the country with more than $10,000 (£6,200) in foreign currency to halt capital flight. Some Egyptians had withdrawn their savings from banks in fear of tougher restrictions. The result of the referendum, held on 15 December and 22 December, was a disappointment for the opposition which had put pressure on the authorities to recount the result to reflect what they have described as major vote violations. ‘We have seriously investigated all the complaints,’ said judge Samir Abu el-Matti of the supreme election committee. Cairo, gripped by often violent protests in the runup to the vote, appeared calm after the announcement and opposition groups have announced no plans for demonstrations to mark the result. Prime minister Hisham Kandil said on Tuesday: ‘The main goals that the government is working towards now is plugging the budget deficit and working on increasing growth to boost employment rates, curb inflation, and increase the competitiveness of Egyptian exports.’ The central bank said on Monday it would take steps to safeguard bank deposits, without giving any details.

 A post form last week discussed the opposition charges of vote fraud in the referendum.

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