Egypt Opposition: Voting Was Rigged

Opposition wants first round of constitution referendum re-run

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 17, 2012 7:43 AM CST

(Newser) – The first of two rounds of voting on the draft constitution has been put to bed, but the opposition isn't ready to move on: It's calling for more protests in Egypt tomorrow. Though the constitution—favored by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists—received a 57% "yes" vote, one Egyptian newspaper calculated that just 18 out of every 100 Egyptians voted "yes," while 13 voted "no" and the rest did not vote at all, Reuters reports. In addition to a lack of real support for the constitution, the Washington Post reports that opposition is also alleging fraud.

There have been thousands of complaints of irregularities going "beyond the rigging that used to take place under the previous regime," said the National Salvation Front, a coalition of opposition groups, last night. Tomorrow's protests could mean a return to violence; the past few days have been relatively calm, the Post notes, and it had been hoped that the referendum would bring an end to the clashes between Mohamed Morsi's bloc and the liberals, leftists, and Christians who make up the opposition. The second round of voting is set for Saturday, and another "yes" vote is expected. But the opposition is calling for the first round to be re-run, and Mohamed ElBaradei wants the referendum canceled entirely.

Egyptian soldiers gurad in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012.
Egyptian soldiers gurad in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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