Egypt’s disputed constitution has received a “yes” majority of more than 70 percent in the second and final round of voting on the referendum, according to preliminary results released early today by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The results, posted on the Brotherhood’s website, show that 71.4 percent of those who voted Saturday said “yes” after 95.5 percent of the ballots were counted. Only about 8 million of the 25 million Egyptians eligible to vote — a turnout of about 30 percent — cast their ballots.
The referendum on the Islamist-backed charter was held over two days, on Dec. 15 and Saturday. In the first round, about 56 percent said “yes” to the charter. The turnout then was about 32 percent.
The Brotherhood, from which Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hails, has accurately predicted election results in the past by tallying results provided by its representatives at polling centers. Official results would not be announced for several days. When they are, Morsi is expected to call for the election of parliament’s lawmaking, lower chamber no more than two months later.
The low turnout in both rounds likely is to feed a perception of illegitimacy for the constitution, which Islamists say will lay the foundation for a democratic state and the protection of human rights. The opposition charges that it places restrictions on liberties and gives clerics a say over legislation.