Egypt's 'yes' to controversial new constitution

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Egypt's 'yes' to controversial new constitution

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The Egyptian Supreme Election Committee has confirmed that the controversial new constitution has been approved.

Nearly 64 per cent of the votes in the two stage referendum were for it, according to the official figures, which closely match those issued by President Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood in recent days.

But less than a third of the electorate turned out.

Opponents accuse the President of foisting an Islamist agenda on the Egyptian people and claim the constitution is divisive because it ignores the rights of many minorities.

The opposition claimed there were widespread irregularities in the voting. The election committee said they had taken the claims seriously.

Results from some polling stations that closed early had been discounted, but the head of the committee said there was no basis to allegations that some centres had lacked a supervisory judge, which is required by law.

There has already been bloodshed over the constitutional argument. The United States was quick to react to the committee’s announcement, encouraging all sides to bridge their divisions urgently.

In Cairo opposition protesters were visible again on the streets.