Egypt approves new constitution in referendum

Egyptian voters approved overwhelmingly a new Islamist-back constitution, the electoral commission announced Tuesday.

The constitution, which was drafted by President Mohamed Mursi’s Islamist allies, passed with 63.8 percent of voters casting “yes” ballots in the referendum, Reuters reported.

The Associated Press reported that nearly 33 percent of Egypt’s nearly 52 million registered voters turned out to vote.

This was lower than most other elections held since the February 2011 uprising that toppled authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Critics of the new constitution, who have campaigned against the document in sometimes deadly street protests, worry that it lays the groundwork for an Islamic state and does not sufficiently protect the rights of women or Christians, the BBC reported.

The result paves the way for parliamentary elections to be held in the next two months.

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