Egyptians vote on new constitution

January 15, 2014 11:09 am

Egyptians vote on new constitution

Cairo 15th January 2014: People of Egypt started voting on a new constitution yesterday.

It is the first ballot for Egyptians since the military deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The two day referendum opened at 9 am in twenty seven governorates across Egypt. It was scheduled to close at 9 pm.

The new draft of the constitution aims to replace the one drafted and approved under former president Morsi, ban religious parties, remove Islamist-inspired wording of previous constitution and give more power to the military.

If the draft constitution gets approved, the army would have the right to hold parliamentary and presidential elections, appoint the defence minister for the next eight years and prosecute citizens for attacks on the armed forces.

Muslim Brotherhood has decided to boycott the two day referendum and there are fears of terror attacks. A bomb explosion took place outside a court in Giza, part of Greater Cairo less than two hours before polling started. Thousands of soldiers have been deployed to protect polling stations.

Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically-elected President of the country was overthrown in a military coup last July. Mr Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders are currently on trial over the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012. Military-backed interim government last month declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

About the Author

Ahmad Diyari Kaashif is a Senior Journalist and Head of the International Bureau at Qatar Chronicle

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