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News analysis: Egypt towards new stage as new constitution underway

English.news.cn   2012-12-23 23:07:59            
 • Initial results of constitutional referendum showed 63.5% of voters approving new constitution.
 • Some analysts expected this result predicting "a deep crisis" unless a reconciliation is reached.
 • The official results of the constitutional referendum will be announced Monday.

 

CAIRO, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Egypt is heading towards a new stage as the total initial results of the constitutional referendum held Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 showed 63.5 percent of voters approving the newly-written constitution.

The country's rising Islamists and conservatives are the main advocates of the new constitution, while liberals, leftists and Copts, mostly represented in the opposition bloc dubbed "the National Salvation Front", oppose it wholeheartedly, which caused bloody conflicts between the two sides ahead of the referendum.

For a lot of Egyptians, as seen in the initial referendum results, the new constitution will help establish the country's institutions and lead it towards stability after almost two years of chaos and turmoil.

Some Egyptian political analysts expected this result, yet predicting "a deep crisis" following the approval of the constitution unless a national reconciliation between supporters and opponents is reached.

"Only one-third of eligible voters took part in the referendum, which reflects a deep crisis underway unless there is national reconciliation. The crisis may get deeper if President Mohamed Morsi does not realize the necessity of national reconciliation," Hassan Nafaa, a political science professor at Cairo University, told Xinhua.

"It is a reasonable result," said Basheer Abdel-Fattah, a researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, adding that the opposition may resort to raising suspicion about the results.

"I don't think the opposition National Salvation Front would urge protests later on, because they have already started to divide among themselves," Abdel-Fattah told Xinhua, recommending that the opposition should rather focus on securing their seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled to be held two months after the constitution is established.

However, Nafaa does not recommend performing parliamentary elections amid expected confusion, rejection and division, warning that it might end up in violence without prior reconciliation and consensus.

Nevertheless, the overall Egyptian map under the long-waited new constitution is more likely to demonstrate more stability and represent a step forward towards democratic transition and towards finding solutions for a number of outstanding social issues including poverty and unemployment.

The Muslim Brotherhood hailed the initial referendum results, but representatives of moderate opposition said they would still work on amending the disputed articles of the constitution while the National Salvation Front said it would appeal the result.

"The result was based on the belief of the people that the new constitution is a step towards development, democratic transition and establishment of institutions. I praise those who said 'Yes' and I highly praise those who said 'No' as they created a balance between political forces and different opinions unlike the case before last year's uprising," Ahmed Sobea, spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), told Xinhua.

Ayman Nour, head of liberal Ghad al-Thawra Party, said that despite his rejection of the draft constitution, the result must be respected after all.

"Despite our many objections regarding the timing and violations of the voting process, Egypt must start a new beginning under the new constitution. But we will still continue our struggle to amend the disputed articles," Nour told Xinhua.

Members of the National Salvation Front held a press conference Sunday, where they said they would appeal the result of the constitutional referendum that was "based on fraud," stating that they would document the violations and submit them to the prosecutor-general.

Egypt has been facing constant political, economic and social challenges since the unrest toppled the former government of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

Many Egyptians believe that with the new constitution and the establishment of institutions, President Morsi, who will hand over legislative power to the Shura Council, will be able to focus on dealing with the country's issues and challenges instead of resolving its political crises.

The official results of the constitutional referendum will be announced Monday, according to the supreme committee running the referendum.

Related:

News Analysis: Passing Egypt's constitution hopeful step to revive economy

CAIRO, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- As the unofficial results of Egypt's constitutional referendum, whose final stage ended Saturday, showed approval of 63.5 percent of voters, economic experts presaged the new constitution underway would help rescue the country's struggling economy affected by long-standing unstable political conditions.

"I think this step will assist the Egyptian economy, as it will minimize protests and calm down opposition, giving a message to the world that Egypt is moving towards stability," Ehab al-Desouky, head of the Economic Research Center of Sadat Academy, told Xinhua.  Full story

Egypt's opposition to appeal constitution referendum result

CAIRO, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's main opposition bloc named " the National Salvation Front" said in a press conference Sunday that it would appeal the result of the constitutional referendum that initially showed approval of the draft constitution, claiming that it was based on fraud.

The front's statement, read by communist politician Abdel- Ghaffar Shukr, said the front would document the violations committed during the voting process and submit them to the prosecution-general, vowing to continue their struggle against the constitution.  Full story

Editor: Liu
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