AL MASRAWY (Egypt), SKY TV
CAIRO – After weeks of confrontation over a proposed new Egyptian Constitution, President Mohammed Morsi has signed the decree that makes the new document the law of the land after voters approved a nationwide referendum, according to press reports early Wednesday.
Al Masrawy reported the official results of the High Committee for elections as follows: 63.8% (Yes) against 36.2% (No). Turnout, however, was below 40%.
Murad Ali, a senior official in Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, was quoted by Sky News. "I hope all national powers will now start working together now to build a new Egypt," he said. "I see this as the best constitution in Egypt's history."
But the opposition, which has said the Constitution gives too much power to the executive and the military, and doesn't protect freedom of speech and religion, says voter irregularities should void the results.
Ibrahim Eissa, a well-known opposition leader and journalist, tweeted after the announcement of preliminary results:
لو حذفنا أصوات التزوير وكل عمليات التضييق على الاقتراع ومنع المواطنين وإغلاق اللجان قبل المواعيد المقررة فإن لا هى الرابحة وهذا الدستور باطل— Ibrahim Eissa (@IbrahimEissa_) December 23, 2012
“If we consider the number of frauds, of preventing voters from accessing voting offices and of closing some offices before time, “No” would have been the winner. This Constitution is illegitimate.”