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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid