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Referendum on constitution reveals a deeply divided Egypt (+video)

The party tied to President Mohamed Morsi says that nearly 57 percent of voters supported the new constitution, while about 43 percent voted against it. A second vote comes later this week.

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The Muslim Brotherhood's political party claimed a narrow margin of Egyptians voted to accept a new draft constitution, according to unofficial results tallied after the first round of voting, even as opposition groups and rights organizations said the vote was marred by serious violations. 

The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party says nearly 57 percent of voters supported the new constitution, which was pushed by President Mohamed Morsi, while about 43 percent voted against it. The numbers were based on tallies made by judges at each voting station after the polls closed. The main opposition coalition said it would not recognize the results until an investigation was conducted into the alleged violations.

The results, and the dispute over them, reflect the deep divide in Egypt over the foundational document that many had hoped would be a product of consensus, not a reason for division. The vote came after weeks of protests against President Morsi, a former Brotherhood and FJP leader, and his decision to sideline the judiciary and bring the constitution to a quick vote after it was abruptly finished. 

He had promised after his election not to bring the document to a vote without consensus. But nearly all non-Islamist members of the committee that drafted the constitution walked out in protest, and the opposition calls the document deeply flawed. 

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