25 December 2012

Egypt: Referendum Results Due, Opposition Readies for Parliamentary Vote

Cairo — Egypt is expected to announce the official results of a vote on its new draft constitution on Tuesday evening.

The results were postponed as the country's Supreme Elections Committee investigated appeals and allegations of voting fraud.

Unofficial tallies indicate that more than 60% of those who voted approved the document, which is backed by President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed El Baradei has admitted that the political fight over the draft constitution has been too fragmented.

"Well, it is going to pass, but it's a really sad day in my view for Egypt, because it is going to institutionalise instability," El Baradei told America's PBS TV.

"It's a very polarising charter. It defies a lot of the basic human value we live by, like freedom of religion, freedom of expression, independence of the judiciary."

El Baradei, who is leader of the National Salvation Front, said that while the Muslim Brotherhood has dominated Egyptian life for the past 80 years, the country's many opposition groups have only come together in recent weeks.

He hopes they can build on their support in time for the parliamentary elections which must now be held in about two months.

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