News / Middle East

Muslim Brotherhood: Egyptians Approve New Constitution

Policemen stand guard near a poster outside the constitutional court put up by supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as they stage a sit-in, in Cairo, December 23, 2012.
Policemen stand guard near a poster outside the constitutional court put up by supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as they stage a sit-in, in Cairo, December 23, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
Unofficial results of Egypt's two-round constitutional referendum appear to indicate that the controversial document won overall approval by a majority of 64 percent.  Many opposition figures, however, allege the vote was tainted by fraud.

Several Egyptians argued angrily at a private club in Cairo over the unofficial results of the two-round constitutional referendum, which appears to have gone to approval by about a two-thirds majority.  Egypt's election commission is due to announce official results on Monday.

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood reported on its website that in Saturday's second and final round of polling, 71 percent of those voting approved the document, while 29 percent opposed it.  In the first round on December 15, 56 percent of voters approved the draft constitution.

The opposition National Salvation Front insisted Sunday that the voting was tainted by fraud. The group has agreed, however, to participate in parliamentary elections due to take place in several months.

Egyptian Voters Reflect on Referendum
(by Al Pessin/Japhet Weeks)


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
Veteran Egyptian editor and publisher Hisham Kassem argues the new constitution is illegitimate both because of the process used to write it and because of the way polling was conducted to approve it.

"They rigged the election, full stop. It's blatant rigging and the constitution is null and void. It's the product of a rigged election. Apart from all the failures in procedures in drafting the constitution, it passed through a rigged election," said Kassem.

Kassem also condemned the West and the United States for what he said was “failing [Egyptians] in the battle for freedom and civil liberties.” A number of opposition leaders have blasted the West for not condemning the process used to approve Egypt's new constitution.

The majority of Egypt's judiciary refused to oversee polling and a team of mostly Islamist judges supervised the vote. Electoral official Mahmoud Abou Shousha, however, told Arab satellite channels that the justice ministry has agreed to examine complaints of fraud.

For his part, veteran Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University said that “the ballot is not infallible, but it's better than the alternatives.”  He also blamed Egypt's liberals and secular activists for “the disarray in their own ranks.”

Ajami portrayed a country deeply divided, or racked by “cultural dualism,” which he says was “reflected in the referendum.” But, he minimized the importance of the constitutional feud, saying that “countries don't live in constitutions.” The old constitution, he notes, “offered no protection against tyranny.”

Meanwhile, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie told reporters that the referendum was “the first time in Egyptian history that a constitution was approved by popular vote.” He added that “when Egyptians speak, everyone else shuts up.”

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sunny Enwerem
December 24, 2012 1:14 AM
A revolution clearly fought by all aspect of Egyptians is hyjacked by some Islamist ,here goes a wasted revolution fought by all but claimed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

by: raheem_ehsan
December 23, 2012 11:28 AM
The hypothesis, about malicious commencement of constitutional voting is maid by English media. The western countries can not bear a country which is following Islamic Sharia, all the mess in the country was made by U.S.A and Israel. The only thing that is itching to America in constitutional law is Islamic Sharia.

by: Michael from: USA
December 23, 2012 9:52 AM
Civil liberty is an organizing idea that faces the government and places limits on it's power, a civic idea that hopefully will come down the middle-way between a crack-down and total chaos

by: ali baba from: new york
December 22, 2012 7:51 PM
the deception game is over ,many problem will arise in future ,discontent, unemployment ,food shortage.it is immanent that the second revolt will be soon
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
December 23, 2012 1:51 PM
the voting is fraud. moersi does not care about the safety of people. the news in Egypt is not over and it will get worst
In Response

by: Mark Burkley from: Highlands, Louisville
December 23, 2012 1:05 AM
Oh well, the people there voted. Was the vote not legitimate? Were you there? Were we (The US) watching the election or just trying to influence it? Hopefully, the people of Egypt will be safe and prosperous.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs