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Egyptians vote on new constitution

Egyptians voted for a second day on the new constitution that effectively denounces the previous presidency of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi and embraces the military leadership of General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

By JC Finley
Egyptians vote on new constitution
An Egyptian woman shows off her finger stained with indelible ink after voting at a polling station in, Zakazik 80 Kilometers (50 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Egyptians voted on January 14 and 15, 2014 on a new constitution. (File/UPI/Ahmed Jomaa) | License Photo

Voting on Egypt's new constitution entered a second day on Wednesday, and it is expected to pass.

Various reports indicated voting polls were not very busy on Tuesday. On Wednesday, polls were scheduled to close at 9:00 p.m. local time.

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The second day of voting was more peaceful than Tuesday, when eleven people were killed as Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with security forces and a bomb detonated at a courthouse near Cairo.

One voter described his "yes" vote for the new constitution as a demonstration against the Muslim Brotherhood, whose rule under President Mohamed Morsi was ultimately viewed as unstable. Morsi was removed from power by the military in July 2013.

General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi became Deputy Prime Minister after leading the removal of Morsi. Mohamed Naem, a political rights researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in Cairo explained that "For most people, it is Sissi who is giving the constitution legitimacy, not vice versa."

The constitution was drafted by 50 committee members, two of whom represented Islamist parties.

The new constitution stipulates:

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-- Presidential terms of four years, not to exceed two terms -- Parliament may impeach the president -- Freedom of religion with Islam designated as the state religion -- Equality between men and women -- Political parties are prohibited from forming based on "religion, race, gender, or geography" -- Defense Minister to be appointed by the military for the next eight years

[Washington Post] [BBC]

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