Egypt’s govt claims huge victory for proposed new constitution

London, Jan. 19: More than 98 percent voters overwhelmingly backed a proposed new Egyptian constitution.

The Election Commission said that the turnout was 38.6% of the 53 million eligible voters.

The draft constitution replaces one introduced by Islamist President Mohammed Morsi before he was ousted.

According to the BBC, the vote was boycotted by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement from which Morsi belongs to.

Election Commission head Nabil Salib called the vote an ‘unrivalled success’ with ‘unprecedented turnout’.

Later on Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Egypt ‘to fully implement those rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the new constitution’.

The new proposed constitution was drafted by a 50-member committee, which includes only two representatives from the Islamist parties.

Under the proposed new constitution the president may serve two four-year terms and can be impeached by parliament.

Islam remains the state religion – but freedom of belief is absolute, giving some protection to minorities.

The state guarantees ‘equality between men and women’.

Parties may not be formed based on ‘religion, race, gender or geography’.

Military will appoint defence minister for next eight years.(ANI)