Almost everyone who cast ballots supported Egypt’s new constitution in this week’s referendum, results announced Saturday show, but a boycott by Islamists and low youth turnout suggest the country is still dangerously divided.
Nearly 20 million voters backed the new constitution, almost double the number of those who voted for one drafted in 2012 under the government of toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Only a narrow sliver of voters — 1.9 percent — voted against the charter, after a massive government-sponsored campaign supporting it and the arrest of activists campaigning against it.
“Despite a milieu of intense social upheaval and acts of terrorism and sabotage that sought to derail the process, Egyptians have now marked yet another defining moment in our roadmap to democracy,” presidential spokesman Ehab Badawy said. “The outcome represents nothing less than the dawning of a new Egypt.”