Egypt holds vote on new constitution

14 January 2014 10:34
(QHA) - Egyptians start casting their ballots on January 14 in a two-day constitutional referendum that marks the country’s first vote since the military-backed overthrow of Islamist President Muhammad Morsi six months ago, Radio Free Europe reports. The revised constitution – drafted by a mostly secular commission – does not contain the Islamic references that had characterized the controversial constitution adopted in 2012 under Morsi. Supporters of the charter say it guarantees individual freedoms, religious liberty, and women’s rights. Critics say it gives special privileges to Egypt’s military. Some 53 million Egyptians are eligible to vote. The schedule calls for polls to open on January 14 and 15 at 09:00 local time and to remain open until 21:00 local time each day. The referendum is a key element of a transitional plan that the government says is aimed at restoring democracy after Morsi’s ouster.