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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid