Egyptian constitution wins backing in first round
[USA Today] A majority of Egyptians voted in favor of a final draft constitution in the first round of a referendum, according to unofficial results published in state-run media Sunday.

But a large portion of Egyptians voted against the draft, underscoring deep political divisions and threatening to leave Egypt unsettled in what has been a tempestuous transition.

"It shows that Egypt is divided and that there is a significant portion of the population now disaffected with the Brotherhood's rule and their handling of the constitutional process," said Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.

The Moslem Brüderbund, which propelled President Mohammed Morsi to power earlier this year, urged voters to approve the draft constitution in a two-day referendum, which will continue Dec. 22. The opposition rejected the draft and campaigned for a "no" vote after deciding not to boycott the process.

The draft constitution passed with majority support in areas outside the city, but more than 50% of voters in Cairo rejected it, unofficial results showed.

"That's significant in my estimation, and it's not going to settle anything," said Michael Wahid Hanna, with a New York-based think tank, The Century Foundation, and who is currently in the Egyptian capital.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-17