Egypt set for referendum; streets reflect divisions


Published — Friday 14 December 2012

Last update 13 December 2012 11:25 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

CAIRO: A divided Egypt is being called to vote in a referendum tomorrow on a new constitution.
The country’s powerful army, which ruled for 16 months following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak early last year, has tried in vain to bring government and opposition together for talks to calm the crisis.
Fears of violence remain after violent clashes in Cairo last week in which eight people were killed and more than 600 injured.
President Muhammad Mursi has ordered the referendum to be split over two consecutive Saturdays because many judges are refusing to monitor voting.
The opposition National Salvation Front on Wednesday said it was urging its supporters to vote “no” — but also said it could call a last-minute boycott if the referendum was not brought back to just one day of voting, and if judges and independent observers did not monitor every polling station.
According to an Interior Ministry official, 130,000 police officers will be deployed, along with troops, to ensure security during the vote.
Mursi has ordered the army to secure state institutions, giving it powers of arrest until the referendum result is known.
The referendum outcome was uncertain, though many analysts thought it likely to pass, given the Brotherhood’s efficiency in mobilizing Egypt’s vast poorer segment of society.
Saturday will see voters in 10 governorates called to polling stations, including in the two biggest cities of Cairo and Alexandria.
On Dec. 22 it will be the turn of Giza, Port Said, Luxor and 14 other regions.
Egyptians abroad have already started early voting in embassies and consulates, the official MENA news agency reported.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Jeddah police have closed all entry points into Makkah to prevent undocumented pilgrims from entering the holy city during this year’s Haj, in a bid to prevent overcrowding that could lead to health and safety problems.Officials have taken ac...
JEDDAH: The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution recently charged three young men in the harassment case at the Jeddah corniche. A number of young men were arrested for harassing two Saudi girls at the corniche a day after Eid Al-Fitr.A vi...
JEDDAH: A total of 232 people injured in Sunday’s Aramco compound fire in Alkhobar have been discharged from hospitals here, the Eastern Province Health Department announced on Tuesday.Fifty-seven are still receiving treatment at four hospitals, with...
RIYADH: The Directorate of Education in Riyadh is keeping a close watch on schools, such as sanctioning health material and monitoring the health of staff and students, to prevent the spread of the MERS coronavirus among students. As a step in this...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has announced new legislation for the Dec. 12 elections, including fines and imprisonment for failure to disclose candidate financing, obstructing procedures or officials, and fraudulent activity.Vi...
JEDDAH: The low turnout of Saudis registering for the municipal elections is likely caused by the poor performance of previous councils, lack of a voting culture, inadequate understanding of the duties of councils, and the timing of the elections wit...

Stay Connected