On Saturday, Egyptian voters ushered in a new constitution that some fear is too Islamist, to the detriment of other religions, according to Reuters. The ballot decision follows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s power grab in November, which caused national protests.
But the narrow win so far gives Islamist President Mohamed Morsi only limited grounds for celebration by showing the wide rifts in a country where he needs to build a consensus for tough economic reforms.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s party, which propelled Mursi to office in a June election, said 56.5 percent backed the text. Official results are not expected until after the next round.
While an opposition official conceded the “yes” camp appeared to have won the first round, the opposition National Salvation Front said in a statement that voting abuses meant a rerun was needed – although it did not explicitly challenge the Brotherhood’s vote tally.
Rights groups reported abuses such as polling stations opening late, officials telling people how to vote and bribery. They also criticized widespread religious campaigning which portrayed “no” voters as heretics …
Morsi and his backers say the constitution is vital to move Egypt’s democratic transition forward. Opponents say the basic law is too Islamist and tramples on minority rights, including those of Christians who make up 10 percent of the population.
Read more at Reuters.