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Doing the math on Egypt’s referendum

Egyptians go to the polls today to vote on amendments to the constitution.

Egyptians go to the polls today to determine the country’s future in the most decisive referendum Egypt has ever witnessed. Although the vote is strictly on the new constitution, or rather on amendments drafted by a 50-member committee, the results will be far reaching.

The biggest stumbling block is the pro-stability camp, which usually supports any sitting government and has grown very tired of the prolonged political volatility over the past three years. This bloc mostly supported deposed President Mohammed Morsi’s constitution in December 2012, with more than 63% of the 17 million voters (a 33% turnout), and ratified the constitution put forward by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a significant drop from 77% of those who supported amendments proposed by a committee appointed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in March 2011, when 18.5 million voters participated, or 41% of the then-45 million registered voters. This bloc clearly trusts the army more than any political rivals and will vote for the new constitution. 

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