x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Only a third vote in Egypt's winning constitution referendum

Egypt's constitution was passed with 63.8 percent voter support in the two-stage referendum that ended last weekend.

CAIRO // Egypt's constitution was passed with 63.8 percent voter support in the two-stage referendum that ended last weekend, the national electoral commission said yesterday.

Turnout was 32.9 percent of Egypt's total 52 million voters, the president of the commission, Samir Abul Maati, told a news conference in Cairo. The figures confirmed those given by president Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which had backed the new charter.

Mr Abul Maati rejected opposition claims that fake judges supervised some of the polling - one of several allegations of polling fraud the opposition National Salvation Front made after each leg of the referendum held December 15 and 22.

The charter, and Mr Morsi's determination to hold the referendum without building consensus, provoked weeks of protests, some of which turned violent. The Front has said it will not cease its struggle, raising the prospect of prolonged instability in the Arab world's most populous nation.

The announcement turns the Islamist-drafted charter into the country's first constitution after the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak out of office after nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule.

The official results closely mirror unofficial results announced by the Muslim Brotherhood, the main group that backed the charter.

* Agence France-Presse and Associated Press