News / Africa

No Date Set for Egyptian Referendum Results

An official counts ballots after polls closed during the final stage of a referendum on Egypt's new constitution in Bani Sweif, about 115 km (71 miles) south of Cairo, December 22, 2012.
An official counts ballots after polls closed during the final stage of a referendum on Egypt's new constitution in Bani Sweif, about 115 km (71 miles) south of Cairo, December 22, 2012.
VOA News
Egyptian authorities say no date has been set for official results of this month's two-stage referendum on an Islamist-backed draft constitution, as authorities investigate opposition complaints of fraud.

Speaking Monday, members of Egypt's election commission also said they were still compiling results from the staggered voting in Egypt's 27 provinces on December 15 and 22.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement of President Mohamed Morsi said Sunday that unofficial results show the constitution won approval from 64 percent of voters in the two rounds. It said turnout was about 32 percent.

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 liberal opposition National Salvation Front filed complaints with the election commission Sunday, alleging that a lack of judicial supervision of the referendum led to rigging and intimidation of voters by Islamists. Many judges boycotted the process to protest Morsi's recent power grab that briefly put his decisions above the law.

The opposition coalition views the draft constitution as a threat to civil liberties. In a Sunday news conference, coalition members vowed to keep fighting the charter in a peaceful and democratic manner even if the election commission certifies its passage.

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.

If approved, the constitution requires the staging of elections for the lower house of parliament within two months. The previous Islamist-dominated assembly was dissolved by Egypt's then-military rulers in June, leaving all legislative powers in the hands of President Morsi, who took office later that month.

Developments in Egypt

  • Nov. 22: Presidential decree gives Mohamed Morsi sweeping powers, protests erupt
  • Nov. 30: Islamist-controlled assembly adopts draft constitution
  • Dec. 1: Constitution referendum scheduled for December 15
  • Dec. 2: Judges say they will boycott constitution referendum
  • Dec. 5: Protesters clash outside presidential palace in Cairo
  • Dec. 8: Morsi annuls presidential decree
  • Dec. 10: Morsi gives military authority to arrest civilians
  • Dec. 15/22: Egyptians vote on constitutional referendum
Wrangling between liberals and Islamists over the constitution appears likely to continue in the next lower house, potentially prolonging Egypt's political crisis as the country struggles to revive an ailing economy.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded its rating on Egypt's long-term sovereign debt from B to B-minus on Monday, blaming the move on the country's political turmoil. It also warned that another rating cut was possible "if a significant worsening of the domestic political situation results in a sharp deterioration of economic indications such as foreign exchange reserves or the government's deficit."

An Islamist-dominated assembly finalized the draft constitution last month after liberals and Christians walked out, complaining their views were being ignored. Opposition groups object to the charter 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 earlier this month. Some members of the rival groups engaged in violent street battles that killed eight people outside the presidential palace in Cairo.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Mehdi Alavi from: Houston, Texas
December 24, 2012 2:38 PM
Now that the Constitution is passed, Egyptians could work together to amend it for fairness, including equal rights for women and minorities.

by: Michael from: USA
December 24, 2012 9:33 AM
Economic austerity measures after the election are going to be designed by officials attempting to cover too many bases, stretching the limits of the system, and will probably be justified by clerics as God's will which avoid modern-age questions about total synthesis when, in that, can be found a track that meets basic needs while providing opportunity for progress, not in automatic capital gain, but in economic networks that will convert to markets in mid-2013

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More