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Egypt's referendum a vote on Morsi as well as the constitution (+video)

As Egyptians vote today in a referendum on a controversial draft constitution, the debate is dominated by President Mohamed Morsi's actions, not the document. 

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Egyptians made yet another trip to the polls today to vote on a controversial constitution that has deeply polarized the nation, as the opposition warned of fraud.

For many, it was not just a vote on the merits of the document, but a judgment on the performance of President Mohamed Morsi, whose recent decisions to consolidate his power and rush the constitution to a vote ignited public anger and widespread protests. 

But a fear that rejecting the draft constitution would prolong the instability that has roiled Egypt overshadowed the burgeoning frustration with the president and opposition to the constitution.

"Egyptians will say yes, but in their hearts they want to say no," says Youssef Amin as he waits outside a polling center in Matareya, a working-class district on the northern edge of Cairo.

Since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February 2011, many Egyptians have grown weary of the sustained political instability and unrest on the streets that has kept Egypt's economy from recovering. 

Mr. Amin works in the tourism industry, which has been hit hard as protests and violence dissuade tourists from visiting.  He opposes the constitution, but says he will vote for it anyway because he's afraid that defeating it would lead to even more instability.

"If I say no, it might take four years to get another constitution," he says. "We will go on and on and on like this." 

A referendum on Morsi


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