Egypt to announce result of constitution vote on Tuesday

Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:53pm EST
 
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By Tamim Elyan and Yasmine Saleh

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will announce on Tuesday the official results of a vote on its new constitution, the head of the elections committee told state media on Monday, a step which paves the way for the formation of a new parliament in about two months.

The creation of a new constitution is a vital step in Egypt's transition to democracy almost two years after the fall of military-backed strongman Hosni Mubarak.

But the opposition says the text, crafted mostly by President Mohamed Mursi's Islamist allies, fails to guarantee personal freedom and the rights of women and minorities. It says it will lead to more trouble in the most populous Arab nation.

Unofficial tallies from the Muslim Brotherhood - which catapulted Mursi into the presidency this year - indicated that 64 percent had approved the charter. An opposition tally had a similar result.

"The Supreme Elections Committee will announce on Tuesday at 7 P.M. (17:00 GMT) the results of the referendum on the new constitution," judge Samir Abu el-Matti told state radio and TV late on Monday.

Matti also said that the committee, which is led by judges, had spent the last two days investigating opposition and rights' groups accusations of voting fraud.

Mursi's critics said the vote, conducted in two stages in a process that ended on Saturday, had been marred by a litany of irregularities, and have demanded a full inquiry.

The opposition, a loose alliance of socialists, liberal-minded Muslims and Christians, have also noted that less than a third of those eligible turned out to vote, undermining the legitimacy of the new constitution.   Continued...

 
Policemen stand guard near a banner outside the constitutional court put up by supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi as they stage a sit-in, in Cairo December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah