Egypt approves constitution drafted by Mursi allies
By Yasmine Saleh and Maria Golovnina
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved a constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi's allies, results announced on Tuesday showed, proving that liberals, leftists and Christians have been powerless to halt the march of Islamists in power.
Final elections commission figures showed the constitution adopted with 63.8 percent of the vote in the referendum held over two days this month, giving Mursi's Islamists their third straight electoral victory since veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution.
Opposition groups had taken to the streets to block what they see as a move to ram through a charter that mixes politics and religion dangerously and ignores the rights of minorities.
Mursi says the text - Egypt's first constitution since Mubarak's fall - offers enough protection for minorities, and adopting it quickly is necessary to end two years of turmoil and political uncertainty that has wrecked the economy.
"I hope all national powers will now start working together now to build a new Egypt," Murad Ali, a senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, told Reuters.
"I see this as the best constitution in Egypt's history."
In a sign that weeks of unrest have taken a further toll on the economy, the government ordered new restrictions on foreign currency apparently designed to prevent capital flight. Leaving or entering with more than $10,000 cash is now banned.
Two years since waves of unrest broke out across the Middle East and North Africa - sweeping away long-entrenched rulers in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen as well as Egypt - well-organized Islamist parties have emerged as the main beneficiaries. Continued...