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Egypt Blog

  • Egyptians who voted in a referendum overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, official sources said, citing early results of a ballot that could set the stage for army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president.

    About 90 percent of voters approved the constitution, the state news agency and a government official said.

    It comes as no surprise: the constitution won wide support among Egyptians who backed the army overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July, and there was little or no trace of a no campaign as the state presses a campaign on dissent.

    Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which is sure to dispute the official numbers, had called for a boycott of the two-day vote, seeing it as part of a coup against a leader freely elected 18 months ago. It had called for anti-government protests.

    After nine people were killed in clashes between police and Mursi supporters on Tuesday, the protests stretched into Wednesday. Protesters skirmished with the police near the presidential palace. There were no reports of deaths.

    The Interior Ministry said 444 people were arrested during the two days of voting. [Reuters]

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