Egyptian Constitution Passes in Second Round
Egypt concluded the second round of its constitutional referendum on December 22 and unofficial results indicate that the draft successfully passed. The Muslim Brotherhood suggested that the initiative garnered a 64 percent “yes” vote, although officials numbers will not be released until December 24. As in the preceding round of voting, the second phase achieved roughly 30 percent turn-out. Again, opposition leaders contended that the referendum was marred by “violations of voting procedures” and called upon elections authorities to withhold the official results until the issues had been investigated. Hamdeen Sabahi, a leftist and former presidential candidate, criticized the proceedings saying, ”This is a constitution that lacks the most important prerequisite for a constitution: consensus. This means we can’t build our future based on this text at all.” Prior to the referendum, Bassem Sabry wrote, “There is a real opportunity for Egypt’s opposition to come out of the current upheaval… as a stronger and more integrated political force whose fortunes and support are on the rise. The key, however, is to stop making the same mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekky resigned his position ahead of the referendum’s conclusion. Al-Arabiya speculated the “timing of his resignation appeared linked to the lack of a vice-presidential post under the draft constitution.”
In other news, an Egyptian court announced that it would rule on the life-sentence appeals of former President Hosni Mubarak former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli, as well as corruption charges appeals of Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal. The court will make its decisions on January 13.