Protests as Egypt referendum vote count begins

Initial results showed that 98.4% of those who voted were in favor of a new constitution, although only 35.3% of voters turned out in the two-day referendum.

Protests as Egypt referendum vote count begins

World Bulletin / News Desk

Vote counting of Egypt's referendum on a revised version of the country's 2012 suspended constitution started Wednesday evening.

Polling stations closed at 9:00pm on Wednesday on the final day of the two-day plebiscite.

Supporters of the revised constitution staged a rally in support of al-Sisi in the central Beni Sueif province, amid chants against the Muslim Brotherhood, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails.

Members of the Salafist Nour Party staged several rallies in the coastal city of Alexandria to mobilize citizens to vote "yes" on the revised constitution.

The coastal city also saw a rival rally staged by opponents of the charter to call for a boycott of the revised version.

A rally was also staged by anti-referendum protesters in the southern Dalga village.

The referendum is the first step in an army-imposed roadmap for Egypt's political transition following Morsi's ouster.

The plan also envisages fresh parliamentary and presidential elections.

Initial results on Thursday showed that a sweeping majority of Egyptians who participated in the referendum voted in favor of a new constitution, although the results showed that only 35.3 percent of eligible voters turned out in the two-day referendum.

Nearly 18.174,533 voters (98.4%) said "yes" for the revised version, while only 301,195 voters (1.6%) said "No", according to the results from nearly 93 percent of Egypt's polling stations.

The final results of the referendum will be officially announced on Saturday, the High Election Commission (HEC) said on Wednesday.

Deaths reported

Two people died of natural causes on Wednesday, the final day of the referendum on a revised version of Egypt's 2012 suspended constitution, the Health Ministry said.

The two deaths occurred in the Upper Egyptian provinces of Minya and Assiut, ministry spokesman Ahmed Kamel said in a statement on Thursday.

He added that 19 people were also injured on the same day.

The Health Ministry said that 11 people had died on the first day of the constitutional vote, including five of natural causes.

444 Brotherhood supporters arrested

Egyptian forces have arrested 444 Muslim Brotherhood supporters during two days of voting on a revised version of Egypt's 2012 suspended constitution, the Interior Ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry said that the detainees "had tried to spoil the democratic atmosphere, disrupt voting in some polling stations, stage rallies and use firearms".

The ministry said that a "number of firearms and bladed weapons" were seized from the detainees.

Army kills high-profile rebel, arrests 7 suspects in Egypt's Sinai

Egyptian army forces have killed a high-profile militant from the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group and arrested seven other suspected rebels in the Sinai Peninsula, an army spokesman said Wednesday.

Ibrahim Hussein Abdullah, also known as Abo Oday, was killed when army forces raided several areas of North Sinai, armys pokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali said on his official Facebook page.

He added that seven other suspected terrorists had been arrested, while a truck, a motorcycle and 24 cottages had been destroyed by army forces.

In recent months, Ansar Beit al-Maqdishas claimed responsibility for several attacks in Egypt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ocak 2014, 09:57