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Primoz  Manfreda

Islamists Win Egypt’s Constitutional Referendum

By December 26, 2012

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Egypt protest constitution 2012The final results are in from Saturday's second stage of voting on the controversial constitutional draft. More than 60% of the voters voted in favor of the draft, a victory for President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist supporters (see BBC report).

But, only a third of the electorate turned out to vote, highlighting the glaring lack of national consensus on the constitution, seen as favoring the Islamist parties. It shows both a dangerously high level of voter apathy and the secular opposition's utter failure to mobilize its supporters for a "no" vote.

The passing of the constitution opens the door for parliamentary elections within two months, which, in theory, would mark the final phase of transition from interim military rule to fully civilian, democratic government. However, what's more likely is that we'll be reading about more anti-Morsi protest (seen on the photo), political deadlock, and sinking economy in the months ahead.

Relations between the Islamists and the various groups in Egypt's secular opposition have reached their lowest point since the ouster of ex-president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. The rules of the game will now be dictated by a constitution deemed illegitimate by a large section of Egypt's society, with vaguely formulated provisions on some of the key issues bound to be hotly contested in parliament and in the court of law.

Read in more detail: How Islamist is Egypt's New Constitution?

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Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images News.

 

The final results are in from Saturday's second stage of voting on the controversial constitutional draft. More than 60% of the voters voted in favor of the draft, a victory for President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist supporters. This opens the door for parliamentary elections within two months, which, in theory, would mark the final phase of transition from interim military rule to fully civilian, democratic government (see BBC report).

What's more likely is that we'll be reading about more protest, political deadlock, and sinking economy in the months ahead. Only a third of the electorate turned out to vote, highlighting the glaring lack of national consensus on the constitution, seen as favoring the Islamist parties. It also shows a dangerously high level of voter apathy, and the secular opposition's utter failure to mobilize its supporters for a "no" vote.

Relations between the Islamists and the various groups in Egypt's secular opposition have reached their lowest point since the ouster of ex-president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. The rules of the game will now be dictated by a constitution deemed illegitimate by a large section of Egypt's society, with vaguely formulated provisions on some of the key issues bound to be hotly contested in parliament and in the court of law.

Read in more detail: How Islamist is Egypt's New Constitution?

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