Vote counting begins after Egypt referendum on constitution

Vote counting begins after Egypt referendum on constitution

Voters turned out up in big numbers Saturday in most of the 10 Egyptian provinces where a first round of voting was held in a referendum on a disputed draft constitution amid allegations of mass irregularities, dpa reported.

With queues swelling polls, the election commission extended balloting time by four hours until 11 pm (2100 GMT).

Local TV networks showed live lines of voters still waiting at night to cast their ballots, braving low temperatures.

Monitors said the polling was marred by large violations, including mass voting, lack of full judicial oversight and illegal canvassing.

"All forms of fraud recorded in the era of (ousted President Hosny )Mubarak were seen again today," Hafez Abu Saada, a prominent human rights activist, told the privately owned Dream TV.

Mubarak was deposed almost two years ago.

Election commission chief Zaghloul al-Balshi denied allegations that the voting was not fully overseen by judges.

"We will verify all complaints to determine their impact on the integrity of the process," he told a press conference late Saturday.

He said that the result would be officially announced after the second and final round to be held on December 22.

Vote counting began late Saturday after the end of polling with preliminary results showing a tilt toward endorsing the referendum, local media reported.

President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies have campaigned heavily for the draft constitution, arguing that it is necessary to fast-track the transition from Mubarak's authoritarian rule.

The opposition says the charter, drafted by an Islamist-led constituent assembly, could undermine women's and political rights and sideline minorities.

"I don't like an Islamic system in control of my country because I know Morsi is a dictator - he controls my life and my family. I prefer liberation," Naier al-Guindy, 59, told dpa at a Garden City polling station in central Cairo.

Hinar Sabry, a 25-year-old veiled girl, said she would vote for the charter.

"The articles that the people think are controversial are really not that controversial - they're just making a big fuss about it on TV," she said.

"It's more of a political stand for the opposition. The opposition just wants power, and they don't really care about what the constitution says."

Tens of thousands of army and security personnel were deployed outside polling stations to maintain order.

"The long lines of voters at polls are the best answer to those who called for boycotting or postponing the referendum," senior Brotherhood official Essam al-Erian said in a tweet.

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, who leads the opposition coalition National Salvation Front, urged a "No" vote. He had earlier called on Morsi to postpone the referendum, warning of a possible civil war.

Divisions over the constitution have sparked deadly protests and attacks on several Brotherhood offices.

The main office of the liberal al-Wafd Party and its mouthpiece in the Cairo area of Dokki were attacked Saturday.

The party's officials blamed the attack on hardline Islamists, claiming that the assailants had sought to "intimidate" al-Wafd for its opposition to the draft constitution.

The voting on the charter had to be spread across two days after many of Egypt's judges refused to oversee the balloting because of the constitution's perceived curbs on freedoms. Without judicial supervision, the vote would be considered illegal.

About 25.8 million Egyptians were eligible to vote in the first round of the polls, according to government figures.

The final result is to be determined by the majority of the valid ballots cast in both rounds.

If the draft constitution is voted down, Morsi will call an election within three months to pick a new constituent assembly.

Georgia to increase price of natural gas for commercial consumption starting January
Georgia to increase price of natural gas for commercial consumption starting January
State-owned enterprises in Georgia lose about 130 mln GEL due to pandemic
State-owned enterprises in Georgia lose about 130 mln GEL due to pandemic
Georgia to participate in discussion on Black Sea security at NATO Foreign Ministerial
Georgia to participate in discussion on Black Sea security at NATO Foreign Ministerial
Loading Bars
Azerbaijan talks major restoration work to be carried out on liberated territories
Turkey says export of local defense products to Iran surges
US decreases exports to Kazakhstan year-on-year
World’s gas reserves slightly up y-o-y
Azerbaijan has potential to preserve qanats in Karabakh - Iranian researcher
Azerbaijani MFA talks information about French MPs' planned trip to Karabakh
Azerbaijan to develop transport sector on territories liberated from Armenian occupation
Prices on Azerbaijani oil change
Kazakhstan taking measures to double agriculture goods export via digitalization
Kazakh KazMunayGas to continue improving sustainable dev't activities
Turkmennebit State Concern puts new productive wells into operation
Azerbaijan can take steps to include its underground water channels into UNESCO list
Turkey's October 2020 car exports to France increase
Azerbaijan's AccessBank looks to regain share in agricultural lending
UAE boosts import of defense industry products from Turkey
Uzbek Agriculture Ministry reveals volume of harvested raw cotton
Iranian currency rates for December 2
Trading in shares of Xiaomi halted pending share sale, bond issue statement
Demand for Turkish cars in Kazakhstan increases
Albgaz invites bids for maintenance of TAP section in Albania
Albania ready to offer full range of gas network maintenance services for TAP
Azerbaijani currency rates for Dec. 2
Fuel demand to recover over 2021-2022, while growth rates to soften
Turkmenistan’s Turkmengas plans to increase productivity of wells
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for December 2
Cargo traffic to/from Azerbaijan via NSTC carried out regularly
Azerbaijani branch of Romanian IT GRUP talks plans for 2021
OPEC+ failure could be highly detrimental for oil prices
SecGen of OIC sends letter to President of Azerbaijan
Gov't spokesman warns against quick decisions on Iran's nuclear program
Kazakh power networks maintenance company to buy construction materials via tender
Japan ruling party weighs up inheritance tax exemption for foreigners
Iran ready to share scientific achievements with friendly countries
Georgia to increase price of natural gas for commercial consumption starting January
Singapore becomes first country to approve sale of lab-grown meat
Turkey, EU cooperation key to fight hate, discrimination in Europe: Comms Director Altun
683 COVID-19 cases among schoolchildren registered in Kyrgyzstan in 3 months
State-owned enterprises in Georgia lose about 130 mln GEL due to pandemic
Eurozone manufacturing sector expands at slower pace
Borrell highlights terrorist nature of Fakhrizadeh assassination
Kazakhstan invites Hungarian companies to jointly hold geological exploration
Bezos' Blue Origin taps former Pentagon, NASA officials for new advisory board
Ford announces 580 mln USD investment in Argentina
Cement price up in Uzbekistan due to decrease in production volumes
House seen backing bill that could block Chinese firms from U.S. securities markets
Lebanon central bank can keep subsidies for only two more months
Nigerian troops kill 5 gunmen, rescue nine hostages
Israeli archaeologists discover 2,000-year-old game dice
Tesla CEO says he is open to friendly deal with rival carmaker
Uzbekistan’s export of furniture products to Italy down
Iran increases exports from Gilan Province
Kazakhstan’s freight transportation operator opens tender to buy spares
FAA issues new first air certificate for Boeing 737 MAX since 2019
Number of Kyrgyzstan’s recoveries from COVID-19 reaches 64,711 with 560 new ones
Georgia to participate in discussion on Black Sea security at NATO Foreign Ministerial
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rising in Iran
Turkey to start COVID-19 vaccination drive after Dec. 11
COVID-related restriction may complicate procedures for car registration in Georgia
Euronews prepares reportage from Azerbaijani Aghdam liberated from occupation (VIDEO)
AP highlights aspects of Armenian Armed Forces withdrawal from districts of Azerbaijan
Israeli airline conducts 1st commercial passenger flight to UAE
Humiliating prisoners of war is not characteristic of Azerbaijani people - State Security Service
Quarantine regime to affect some investment projects of Kazakh national oil company
Equal number of Russian, Turkish personnel to work in center to control ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh
Georgian IT sector to arouse investor interest
Azerbaijani marine infantry personnel return to place of permanent deployment (PHOTO)
Delivery process of logistic support assets for peacekeeping contingent in Azerbaijan continues (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgian economy sees decrease due to COVID-19 lockdown
Return of Lachin district by Azerbaijan has not only important political, but also economic significance - Georgian expert
AP publishes article highlighting political success of Azerbaijan over Karabakh conflict
Foreign trade operations between Azerbaijan and Poland up
Georgia reveals details of Fourth Stage of Anti-Crisis Plan
Azerbaijani Culture Minister gives interview to France 24
Gradual liberalization of wholesale and retail electricity markets defined in Georgia
Import of aluminum by Azerbaijan up
Georgia approves volume of external debt planned for 2021
Development of well-functioning gas hub to diversify Georgia’s gas market
Uzbekistan, Belarus eye signing mutual tourism dev’t agreement
Demand for tobacco products in Azerbaijan may decline amid pandemic crisis
UAE based company to grow cannabis in Uzbekistan’s Syrdarya region
Fiat brand to electrify 60% of its models by end-2021
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry auctions state medium-term bonds
Georgian hazelnut-producing company faces with complex logistics
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on December 2
Number of phishing attacks on Azerbaijani web sites down
European culture to have new dimensions with Lachin's liberation - US expert
Enagas working on 12 projects in hydrogen developments
Spanish Enagas moving towards more sustainable energy model
Azerbaijan's mortgage fund puts up new bond tranche for auction
Georgia names number of beneficiaries of discount cards under agro-diesel promotion program
World Bank helps Georgia to purchase equipment in its fight against coronavirus
Italy decreases crude petroleum oil import from Kazakhstan year-on-year
Azerbaijan's minister of transport meets UK ambassador
Municipality of Italy's Milan adopts document in support of Azerbaijan
Ganja teenager won a bronze medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics!
Production at Azerbaijan’s Kursangi, Garabagli fields adjusted under OPEC+ deal
Georgia reveals Top-5 insurance companies by car insurance premiums
Israeli startups raised over $900m in November
Afrosiyob Palace hotel in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand region put up for auction
Absolute volume of mortgage loans in Azerbaijan grows in 10M2020
All news