Citing a senior Egyptian official, the AP reported that early ballot counts indicate an overwhelming majority of Egyptians cast their votes in support of the country’s referendum on a new constitution. The administration official told the AP that early vote tallies appear to be close to 90 percent in favor of the measure.
If the constitution passes by a large margin, it will provide a major boost to Egypt’s interim government, which has been in place since the military-backed ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in July. Passage of the constitution could pave the way for a presidential run by military chief Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
But the new charter will likely do little to heal Egypt’s deep fractures. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which was recently designated as a “terrorist” organization, boycotted this week’s vote on the referendum. Morsi’s Islamist allies drafted the country’s last constitutional referendum, which passed in December 2012 with 64 percent support; however, only 30 percent of the country turned out to vote. Unofficial tallies put early voter turnout for this referendum at around 50 percent and Egyptian officials made a push for a higher turnout on the final day. According to state media, the voting rate surpassed the last referendum, but the Washington Post reported low turnout on the second day in Cairo.
Final results of the referendum may not be available until Sunday.