Despite boycotts, first day of voting in Egypt proceeds
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 01:23
Jan. 14 - Egypt's first day of its constitutional referendum wraps up. Observers say the voting proceeded without major problems. Nathan Frandino reports.
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The doors are shut and the polls are closed.
After 12 hours of voting, day one in Egypt's constitutional referendum is done.
Now as election officials tie up the ballot boxes, citizens wait for the second day of voting to be held Wednesday.
The referendum is expected to pass and give the army-backed government a milestone for its political roadmap.
Some Egyptians boycotted the referendum though, saying the campaign for a "yes" vote was too aggressive.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AMR SHALTOOT, SAYING:
"By directing the public opinion towards yes yes yes yes, it has backfired and many will neglect going to cast their vote because they believe it is a 'yes' so why shall they go to cast their votes."
Across the country, 80 observers from Democracy International were deployed as thousands voted.
Dan Murphy, a program manager for the group, says initial reports have been positive.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROGRAM MANAGER FOR DEMOCRACY INTERNATIONAL, DAN MURPHY, SAYING:
"So far our teams have been provided good access and we've made lots of observations and we think that the process from a technical standpoint today is proceeding relatively well."
This may set the stage for a presidential bid by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who oversaw last year's overthrow of then-president Mohamed Mursi.
A presidential election could follow as soon as April.
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