News / Middle East

    Egypt Opposition Vows to Keep Fighting Constitution

    Members of Egypt's opposition coalition stand listen to the Egyptian national anthem before a news conference in Cairo, December 23, 2012.
    Members of Egypt's opposition coalition stand listen to the Egyptian national anthem before a news conference in Cairo, December 23, 2012.
    VOA News
    Egypt's liberal opposition coalition says it will keep fighting an Islamist-backed constitution despite its apparent approval in a two-stage referendum.

    In a Cairo news conference Sunday, the National Salvation Front said it has asked electoral authorities to investigate irregularities in the referendum, which ended Saturday with voting in 17 of Egypt's 27 provinces.  Voting began in the other provinces on December 15.

    The Muslim Brotherhood movement of President Mohamed Morsi says unofficial results show the constitution won approval from 64 percent of voters in the two rounds, with Saturday's "yes" vote being even higher at 71 percent.

    The electoral commission could announce official results as early as Monday.

    Egypt's Draft Constitution

    • Limits president to two four-year terms
    • Provides protections against arbitrary detention and torture
    • Islamic law, or Sharia, serves as the basis for legislation
    • Religious freedom is limited to Muslims, Christians and Jews
    • Citizens are deemed equal before the law and equal in rights
    The opposition says the lack of judicial supervision of the referendum led to rigging and intimidation of voters by Islamists.  Many judges boycotted the process to protest President Morsi's recent attempts to put his decisions above the law.

    Activists also say the constitution lacks a popular mandate, because only about one-third of the electorate voted on it.

    National Salvation Front member Amr Hamzawy said the charter is not legitimate.

    "It violates our basic rights, social and economic before civil and personal rights," said Hamzawy.  "It violates our interests and the popular interest in building a socially just society and a democratic system.  And we will continue to attempt to bring down the constitution peacefully and democratically."

    Islamists said the referendum was fair and represents a crucial step in Egypt's transition to democracy, almost two years after a popular uprising ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

    An Islamist-dominated assembly finalized the draft constitution last month after liberals and Christians walked out, complaining their views were being ignored.

    Opposition groups fear the charter will erode civil liberties, because it increases the role of Islamic law in society and does not explicitly mention the rights of women or minorities.

    Islamist and opposition groups had staged a series of mass protests for and against the constitution in recent weeks.  Some members of the rival groups engaged in violent street battles that killed eight people outside the presidential palace in Cairo.

    If Egypt's electoral commission confirms the passage of the referendum, an election would be held for a new lower house of parliament in two months.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: melvin polatnick from: brooklyn
    December 23, 2012 12:02 PM
    Only structures built on the foundation of Allah and the back of his trusted servant can withstand the eroding winds of secularism. The new Egyptian constitution will do away with dependence on the concrete and replace it with the spiritual as a more reliable foothold.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora