Egyptians give up or down vote for draft constitution
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 01:27
Jan. 15 - Egypt marks a milestone in its political roadmap with a ballot vote on a draft constitution, even as rights groups complain the government stifled dissent and made a ''no'' campaign impossible. Mana Rabiee reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Egyptians marked a milestone in their political roadmap on Wednesday.
They gave their thumbs up -- or thumbs down -- to a new constitution.
The first vote since the military deposed former President Mohammed Mursi in July.
(SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) EGYPTIAN VOTER, HISHAM MOHAMED MOUSSA, SAYING:
"God willing a large percentage of the public will vote 'yes', and for one main reason - we have been through great hardship and been worn out. So for sure today people will agree on something."
The draft constitution deletes Islamic language written into law a year ago under Mursi.
It strengthens the apparatus that defied his rule - the army, the police and judiciary.
It may also set the stage for a presidential bid by army chief General al-Sisis.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EGYPTIAN WOMAN, SALWA MOSTAFA, SAYING:
"I have come to say 'yes' to the constitution and 'yes' to Sisi because I love him dearly. My kids say that's wrong, but I want him to be the President of Egypt."
Security at polling stations was high.
Nine people were killed during the first day of voting on Tuesday -- in confrontations between police and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which called for a boycott.
And Cairo's Tahrir square - the boisterous epicenter of previous demonstrations...
The constitutional ballot is expected to easily pass.
But rights groups say the government stifled dissent and made it all but impossible for a "no" campaign.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code