CAIRO (TheBlaze/AP) — Egypt’s disputed constitution has received a “yes” majority of more than 70 percent in the second and final round of voting on the referendum, according to preliminary results released early Sunday by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The results, posted on the Brotherhood’s website, show that 71.4 percent of those who voted Saturday said “yes” after 95.5 percent of the ballots were counted. Only about eight of the 25 million Egyptians eligible to vote – a turnout of about 30 percent – cast their ballots.
The referendum on the Islamist-backed charter was held over two days, on Dec. 15 and 22. In the first round, about 56 percent said “yes” to the charter. The turnout then was about 32 percent.
The Brotherhood, from which Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hails, has accurately predicted election results in the past by tallying results provided by its representatives at polling centers. Official results would not be announced for several days. When they are, Morsi is expected to call for the election of parliament’s lawmaking, lower chamber no more than two months later.
The low turnout in both rounds is likely to feed a perception of illegitimacy for the constitution, which Islamists say will lay the foundation for a democratic state and the protection of human rights. The opposition charges that it places restrictions on liberties and gives clerics a say over legislation.
The referendum on the constitution has opened divisions in Egypt that are not likely to disappear any time in the near future. Hurriedly adopted by Morsi’s Islamist allies, the charter has left Egypt divided into two camps: The president, his Brotherhood and ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis in one, and liberals, moderate Muslims and Christians in the other.
The two sides brought hundreds of thousands of supporters to the streets over the past month in rival rallies. Clashes between the two sides left at least 10 people dead and hundreds wounded.
Before the vote was tallied, NPR reported some of the perspectives from those voting “yes”:
Teacher Nadi Fouad, 42, patiently waited in a block-long line to vote. Dressed in a dapper suit, he said he planned to vote yes for the constitution and yes to stability. In the end, he said, the opposition will accept the results, the same way Egyptians accepted a divisive result during the presidential elections.
“They will opt for democracy, even if they appear to be harsh and revolutionary now,” he said. A man nearby jeered, “Where is Morsi now?”
“During the days of Mubarak, yes, he stole from us, but there was stability, safety, there was no terrorism,” [Walid Mahmoud Ashri] said. “There are many people who haven’t received their rights — workers, those who are not employed, these people don’t have rights, and these are the majority of the people.”
Nour Osama, 19, told NPR earlier in the day while at a polling station in Giza that although she was voting “no” and knew the referendum would still pass believes “the revolution will carry on, we will protest again and again and again.”