Oman


64% approved Egypt’s new constitution



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. Turnout was 32.9 per cent 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 Mohamed Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, which had backed the new charter. 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 Mursi'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. On Monday, Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace prize laureate and former chief of the UN atomic energy agency who heads the National Salvation Front, admitted to the US network PBS that the referendum would be adopted.  
"It is going to pass, but it's a really sad day in my view for Egypt, because it is going to institutionalise instability," he said. 

The new charter should be treated as "an interim one" until another is written up on the basis of consensus, he said.  "So far, Mursi has been not reaching out to the rest of the country ," he said.

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