Narrow Victory for Egypt’s Constitution as Opposition Demands Re-Vote

Ruling FJP Claims 56.5 Percent Voted in Favor

by Jason Ditz, December 16, 2012

The first half of voting for the Egyptian constitution is finished, with the ruling Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) reporting 56.5% in favor. This makes the second round of voting mostly irrelevant, as it covers the half of the country seen even more in favor of the FJP-backed draft.

Opposition figures who were rallying against the vote early last week condemned the results, and claiming “irregularities,” though the electoral commission dismissed these complaints. The opposition is now demanding a “re-vote” over the issue and is calling for more protests against it.

The protests seem likely as the document was highly polarizing, but the re-vote seems extremely unlikely, as most projected the FJP, which overwhelmingly won the elections,  would be able to muster a majority in the referendum, which is why the opposition initially opposed having the vote in the first place.

The vote was initially supposed to be all at once, but the opposition got enough judges to boycott the vote that there were not enough left to oversee the entire country in one day. Most of the FJP’s strongest territories will vote next weekend.

Assuming the vote stands, it sets the stage for a parliamentary election in early 2013, which will replace the “interim” parliament, whose lower house was ousted by the Supreme Court and whose upper house remains virtually powerless in the pre-constitution scheme of things. The FJP had the largest number of seats by far in each house.

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