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Egypt passes new constitution

According to the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's Islamist-backed constitution passed with 64 percent of the vote. The passage is a victory for Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.


An Egyptian election worker shows his colleagues an invalid ballot while counting ballots at the end of the second round of a referendum on a disputed constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of president Mohammed Morsi at a polling station in Giza, Egypt, Saturday. Egypt's Islamist-backed constitution passed on Sunday, but the deep divisions it has opened up threaten to fuel continued turmoil.

Nasser Nasser/AP

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 Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood claimed Sunday that the Islamist-backed constitution has passed with a 64 percent "yes" vote, the day after the final voting in a two-round referendum that deeply divided the country.

The constitution's critics however may contest the outcome. A spokesman for the main opposition group which has been campaigning for a "no" vote said there were "a lot" of irregularities in the voting.

The Brotherhood's unofficial results come a day before the election commission is expected to announce the final official tally for voting organized over two weeks. The group has accurately tallied the outcome of past elections.

The passage of the constitution would be a victory for Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political arm, said in a statement that it hoped the passage is a "historic opportunity" to heal Egypt's divisions and launch a dialogue to restore stability and build state institutions.

But the comparatively low turnout of 32 percent of eligible voters, as well as allegations by the opposition of voting violations, threatened to undermine the constitution's legitimacy and keep Egypt polarized.

Aside from a vocal opposition, Morsi is also facing a fragile economy, weathered by nearly two years of political turmoil and accompanying violence as well as nearly a month of political crisis that preceded the vote.

According to the Brotherhood tally based on results from individual polling stations as well as voting abroad, around 64 percent of the 16.6 million voters who cast ballots approved the constitution.


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