Egyptians said to favor constitution

Dec. 16, 2012 at 8:02 AM
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CAIRO, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Initial results Sunday indicated 61 percent of Egyptians approved a new constitution while 39 percent of the voters opposed it, al-Arabiya said.

The pan-Arab network said the results came after 58 percent of the votes were counted. The second round of voting takes place next Saturday with the final results to be announced Dec.22, Ahram Online said.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom & Justice Party declared, "The Egyptian people have spoken their mind," Ahram Online said.

The National Salvation Front opposition group cited about 750 violations at polls in 10 governorates during Saturday's vote and claimed the referendum was defeated, but did not give numbers or detail the alleged violations.

Former presidential candidate and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said the initial results of the vote emphasize the increasing levels of division in the Egyptian society.

"Poverty and illiteracy provide fertile ground for trading with religion," he said on his Twitter account.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying the draft "protects some rights but undermines others," and "fails to end military trials of civilians or to protect freedom of expression and religion."

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