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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs