First-phase poll results expose 'illegitimate' draft charter: Egypt opposition
[Al Ahram] The results of the first phase of Egypt's constitutional referendum have revealed unequivocally that the country is largely divided, with the margin between those who support the draft charter – spearheaded by the Islamist current – and those who reject it failing to exceed 6 per cent, according to unofficial estimates.
To some, the results indicate a weakening of the Islamist movement, which was able to garner more than 70 per cent in last year's parliamentary elections.

"A 44 per cent rejection rate for the constitution is quite high and shows that the nation is deeply divided," Mohamed Adel, member of the April 6 youth movement, said in a Sunday statement. "The results have killed the dream of the Islamist current and the Moslem Brüderbund after half of the nation said 'no' to the draft charter."

"It's hard to imagine that any respectable country would pass a constitution rejected by 44 per cent of society, especially when turnout rates failed to exceed 31 per cent," he added.

Islamist figures, for their part, now point the finger of blame at the opposition, which, they say, successfully campaigned to turn public opinion against the draft constitution with "lies."

On Sunday, Salafist Nour Party front man Yousry Hammad accused liberal forces, a "corrupt" media and remnants of the former regime of spreading false information about the draft charter.

"It comes as no surprise that people were misled by liberal forces, who operate above the law," he said, adding that these same forces had "promoted lies" about the draft's contents.

Ahmed Oqeil, for his part, member of the Moslem Brüderbund's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), praised the Egyptian public's participation in last Saturday's referendum.

"The Egyptian people have resisted all the campaigns against the referendum process and all the claims that there weren't enough judges to supervise the polling and the predictions of violence," Oqeil told Ahram Online. "Despite all this, the level of participation was high."

"Now the opposition is trying to get people to believe that a 56 per cent approval rate is not sufficient for the charter to pass, which is not the case," he added. "No constitution can garner a 90 per cent approval rate. A 50+1 approval rate is all that is necessary."

Posted by: Fred 2012-12-18