News / Africa

    Egyptians Vote on Final Day of Referendum

    Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, second right, waits in line outside a polling place in Beni Suef, Egypt, to vote on a constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of President Morsi, Dec. 22, 2012.
    Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, second right, waits in line outside a polling place in Beni Suef, Egypt, to vote on a constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of President Morsi, Dec. 22, 2012.
    Edward Yeranian
    Egyptians in 17 provinces went to the polls Saturday in the second and final round of a referendum over the country's controversial new constitution. Turnout appeared light in some places and heavy in others.

    At a polling station in Giza, across the river from Cairo, an older woman in a headscarf insisted loudly that she was voting “yes” for Egypt's new constitution as other ladies in line looked on. Moments later, a man in a passing bus shouted “no, no, no to the constitution,” creating a stir.

    Many voters appeared unwilling to confide their personal preferences about the proposed constitution. But on Arab satellite channels, activists on both sides of the issue argued vociferously, shouting angrily at times.

    Egypt's army is overseeing the referendum vote, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).Egypt's army is overseeing the referendum vote, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    x
    Egypt's army is overseeing the referendum vote, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    Egypt's army is overseeing the referendum vote, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    Military police in khaki fatigues watched the crowd of voters from a distance, as their jeeps idled outside the polling station. Regular police also stood guard at the door, while a group of election monitors entered the station, refusing to comment.

    At a men's polling station in Giza's Dokki neighborhood, Judge Mohamed Fahmy told VOA that he had agreed to oversee voting, despite a boycott by the majority of his colleagues.

    He says that holding the vote is very important for the country and that the situation requires that everyone cooperate for the stability of the country. He calls the vote an obligation for every Egyptian and says it is his duty as a judge to help the country be more stable.

    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
    Egypt's main judicial organizations decided to boycott the vote, and the judge overseeing the referendum resigned this past week, claiming to be ill. Despite the boycott, however, over 7,200 judges agreed to supervise the vote, according to al Jazeera TV.

    At another polling station in one of Egypt's outlying provinces, a woman complained that a judge had prevented those opposed to the constitution from voting. There were numerous irregularities reported in the first round, as well, although Egypt's justice minister agreed to investigate.

    Today marks the second round of voting in Egypt's constitutional referendum, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).Today marks the second round of voting in Egypt's constitutional referendum, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    x
    Today marks the second round of voting in Egypt's constitutional referendum, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    Today marks the second round of voting in Egypt's constitutional referendum, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    ​Polls are due to close at 7 p.m. local time, although voting was extended for up to four hours at many polling places during the first round last Saturday. Unofficial results are expected to be announced in the hours following the close of voting.  Fifty-six-point-five percent of voters reportedly approved the constitution in the first round of the referendum one week ago.

    Supporters and opponents of the constitution threw stones, bottles and bricks at each other outside a large mosque in Egypt's coastal port city of Alexandria, Friday. Over half a dozen Egyptians also died in street fighting 10 days ago near Egypt's presidential palace.

    • An Egyptian woman casts her ballot in Giza, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    • Voters stain their fingers with ink after voting to prevent repeat voting , Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    • Many of the voters in Giza said they would vote no on the draft constitution, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    • Women wait to vote in Egypt's constitutional referendum outside of a polling station in Giza, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    • Egypt's army is overseeing the referendum vote, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    • The ballot Egyptian voters used in the constitutional referendum. The red circle (left) is a no vote. And the blue circle (right) is a yes vote, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).
    • Today marks the second round of voting in Egypt's constitutional referendum, Cairo, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (Yuli Weeks for VOA).

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora