Egyptians vote for constitutional amendments

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Cairo, Mar 21: In the first ever referendum held in Egypt in the post-Mubarak era, the country has given an overwhelming mandate in favour of constitutional amendments. According to official results declared on Mar 20, more than 77 percent of the voters have endorsed the amendments proposed by Egypt's supreme judicial committee.

Nearly 41 million Egyptians cast their votes on Mar 19, which is nearly 41 percent of the country's total population and according to analysts is a much better figure than the 10 percent turnouts in Mubarak regime.

Egyptians, according to the referendum have approved a package of nine amendments, most of which deals with elections. One proposed amendment suggests loosening of the requirement for independent candidates aspiring for the presidency. And in another major amendment, there is a suggestion to limit presidency to two four-year terms as opposed to the current limitless tenure in office.

According to reports, the National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, urged a yes vote on the referendum. While other opposition parties, including the youth activists who led the uprising against Hosni Mubarak opted for a no on the proposed amendments and instead preferred to draft a new constitution.

With the majority going in favour of the constitutional amendments, the stage is now set for a parliamentary election, which according to the ruling military council will be held in June.

Egyptians had earlier in 2011 launched a massive protest asking for the immediate step down of Hosni Mubarak who had clung on to power for three decades. The protests, aided by the usage of social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, came to its logical conclusion when the country's military forced Mubarak to step down and thus paving a way to usher in new democratic changes in the African nation.

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