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10:13 16 January
10:11 16 January
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Referendum on Egypt’s New Constitution Over

Baku-APA. The final stage of the referendum on Egypt’s new constitution ended at 1:00 Moscow time on Sunday [21:00 Saturday GMT] after being extended for four hours, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

Due to high voter turnout, the vote was also extended in the first round of the referendum last week. During the first round approximately 57 percent of Egyptians voted for the new Islamist-drafted constitution, with approximately 43 percent voting against.

The country’s supreme election authority is due to announce the final results within two days. The vote count will be overseen by about 7,300 judges.

Opposition parties have already complained of numerous violations that question the legitimacy of the vote, the Al Ahram daily said. Islamist parties, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, rejected the opposition’s allegations.

A member of the Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC), Judge Mahmoud Abu Shousha, said more than 300 complaints about voting irregularities were received during the second stage of the referendum, but “most of them proved to be untrue after being considered and verified by the Committee and provincial electoral watchdogs.”

Just hours before polls closed, Vice President Mahmoud Mekky announced his resignation. The draft constitution envisages no vice-presidential post.

If the new constitution is approved by the majority of voters, elections for a new parliament are to be held in a few months, ending the transitional period that has lasted since Hosni Mubarak’s almost thirty-year-long presidency was ended by the January 2011 uprising.

If the country’s new fundamental law is rejected, a new constitutional commission will be set up within two months.

The official turnout of the second stage is yet unknown, but almost 25.5 registered voters were eligible to cast their ballot at over 6,500 polling stations in 17 governorates.

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