Egyptians vote on second day of constitutional referendum

Photo: Egyptians vote on second day of constitutional referendum / Arab World

Egyptians were voting on the second and final day of a referendum on a draft constitution that the military-backed government says is aimed at restoring democracy after the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, dpa reported.

Small numbers of voters turned out at some polling stations in the first hour of balloting Wednesday.

Nine people were killed and more than 40 wounded on the first day of voting Tuesday in clashes between police and Morsi's supporters, health officials said.

The two-day referendum that comes six months after Morsi was toppled by the military has been boycotted by his Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a terrorist organization by the government.

The Islamist group had called on its supporters to take to the streets to protest at the referendum. The government has vowed "zero tolerance" against any bid to disrupt the vote.

An estimated 250,000 security personnel have been deployed to secure more than 30,000 polling stations nationwide, state media said.

The revised charter that was drafted by a largely secular panel is to replace the one adopted in 2012 under Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president.

Morsi's overthrow was followed by months of violence and protests in which hundreds have been killed. The government has blamed the attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some 53 million Egyptians are eligible to vote. Turnout was considerably high on the first day of the referendum, according to a commission in charge of the balloting.

Polls are to close at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT). The results are expected within three days of the vote.

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