Egypt gives Islamist constitution a chance

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Egypt gives Islamist constitution a chance

Egypt gives Islamist constitution a chance
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Will an Islamist referendum victory calm Tahrir Square and the opposition, or will there be a return to street protests?

The Egyptian people remain deeply divided despite the support shown over two rounds of voting for the new constitution.

Restoring calm was visibly a key argument when, two years after the fall of Mubarak, the economy is in crisis. This swung undecided electors in particular.

Supporters argue it was vital for Egypt to have a better constitution than the one before.

‘‘I think the new constitution is very important for me and other Egyptians. I have compared the new constitution with the one from 1971,’‘ said one Cairo man.

However the main coalition of leftwing, liberal and secular opposition groups the National Salvation Front does not agree, and promises to contest the referendum results.

‘‘We are committed to continuing our collective peaceful struggle in order to bring down this constitution through legitimate means as soon as possible, because it’s a constitution that is not worthy of Egyptians,’ says the Front’s Hamdeen Sabahi.

The oppositition insists the new constitution is full of ambiguities and contradictions and so cannot be seen as legitimate.

‘‘We do not consider that constitution as a legitimate constitution. It violates our basic rights, social and economic as well as civil and personal rights,’‘ agrees Amr Hamzawy.

The Freedom and Justice party of Mohammed Morsi is delighted with the results. The president says it is the key to stabilising the Egyptian economy and ending confrontations.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Mohammed Badie called on Saturday for a resolution of differences through dialogue, and not the throwing of stones or exchange of gunfire.

Last Friday, on the eve of the second round of voting, clashes between the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps left many injured in the streets of Alexandria.