Egypt's opposition demands inquiry into referendum 'fraud'
Sunday 23 December 2012
Egypt's opposition groups are demanding a judicial investigation into the recent referendum on the country's draft constitution, citing "systematic fraud".
Official results are expected to be announced tomorrow, but private polling carried out by individual parties suggested that the new constitution – which was touted by the Muslim Brotherhood as a path to stability but criticised by its opponents as a blueprint for theocracy – had been approved by 64 per cent of those who voted.
The Brotherhood released a statement lauding the outcome as a "great event" which presented an "historic opportunity to reunite national forces".
But the front page of the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm captured the essence of opposition feeling, with a banner headline which read simply: "Wholesale Violations".
In a press conference yesterday, the former leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi called for an investigation into allegations of rigging, saying that the poll had been marred by "systematic fraud". Some of the claims have been backed up by Egyptian NGOs. The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies released a statement criticising the lack of supervision due a judges' strike and the absence of international monitors.
However the committee overseeing the vote has said that during the first round of voting, which took place on December 15, no major violations were recorded.
In a sign that Egypt remains as polarised as ever, the National Salvation Front – the opposition coalition of which Mr Sabahi is a member – said it would appeal the results of the referendum. "The referendum is not the end game," the group said in a statement yesterday. "It is only a battle in this long struggle for the future of Egypt."
Despite an ostensibly comfortable victory for the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies in the "yes" camp, many among the opposition have been buoyed by what they believe are the shifting political sands highlighted by the result.
Unofficial figures – released by both the Brotherhood and local media outlets – indicate perhaps as little as one third of the electorate voted.
Opposition politicians believe many Egyptians remain incensed by the high-handed manner in which the Muslim Brotherhood has conducted itself in recent months. They also hope that the newfound unity which was forged in opposition to Mohamed Morsi can be fully utilised to their political advantage.
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...