It is the final day of voting in Egypt’s referendum on a new constitution. The overall turn out remains uncertain with one media outlet quoting the justice ministry saying it “exceeded 50 percent in many polling stations.”
The ballot could set the stage for a presidential bid by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with one European diplomat saying he believed Sisi could announce his candidacy in the next few days a view widely held in Egypt.
That would delight his supporters but there are fears it could ignite more conflict with his Islamist opponents, many of whom boycotted the poll. It was reported to be calm on the final day of voting.
A huge security operation which began on Tuesday was in evidence again. Around 160,000 soldiers and 200,000 policemen were deployed throughout the country.
Violence erupted on Monday as supporters of the ousted Islamist President Mohammed Mursi clashed with security forces. It’s understood at least nine people died.
The new constitution was drafted by a 50-member committee that included only two representatives of Islamist parties. Critics say it favours the army at the expense of the people.
Voting ends this evening in Egypt but it’s unclear when the result will be known.