First stage of Egypt’s draft constitution referendum ends
Cairo: The first stage of the referendum of Egypt’s draft constitution ended Saturday night at 11:00 pm local time (2100 GMT).
Due to the high turnout, the closing time of the referendum was extended from 7:00 p.m. local time (1700 GMT) to 11:00 pm (2100 GMT).
The historic referendum was planned to run in two stages, according to a republican decree issued by President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday.
The first stage of the referendum covers the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, Daqahlya, Gharbeya, Sharqeya, Assiut, Souhag, Aswan, Southern and Northern Sinai, while the second phase will be held a week later in the rest of the country.
The Higher Elections Commission has said that the result of the referendum would be announced after the second stage of the voting on Dec. 22.
A total of 19 people were injured across the country during the Saturday voting due to overcrowding, including one wounded by gunshot, the Health Ministry was quoted by the official MENA news agency as saying, adding that the investigation into the incident was underway.
Meanwhile, the opposition Wafd party``s building in central Cairo was attacked late Saturday by some Islamists with petrol bombs, yet no one was injured till now, said MENA.
According to the latest constitutional declaration issued by Morsi on Dec. 9, if the draft constitution was vetoed down, a new 100-member constitution-writing body would be formed to write a new charter.
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