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    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Egypt Holds Vote On New Constitution

    FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 file photo, an Egyptian Salafi holds a copy of the new constitution as he attends a conference to hear a lecture entitled "Know Your Constitution," ahead of a two-day vote on a draft amendment in El-Saf village, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt. With a presidential run by Egypt’s powerful military chief seeming more likely by the day, this week’s two-day constitution referendum, to be held amid a massive security force deployment, is widely seen as a vote of confidence in the regime he installed last summer. Arabic reads, "the constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt." (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File
    Egyptians have begun voting amid tight security in a two-day referendum on a new constitution, which could pave the way for fresh elections.
    The new charter aims to replace the constitution passed under Islamist President Mohammed Morsi months before he was ousted by the army.
    BBC reports that the military wants a strong “Yes” vote to endorse Mr. Morsi’s removal.
    His Muslim Brotherhood, now designated a terrorist group, is boycotting the vote and there are fears of violence.
    Shortly before voting began, an explosion took place near a court building in Cairo’s Imbaba district, although no casualties were reported.
    A huge security operation is being mounted for the two days of voting. The interior ministry said 200,000 police officers, 150 central security units and 200 combat groups are being deployed around polling stations on both days.

    Army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited one polling station in north Cairo, telling guards there: “Work hard. We need the referendum to be completely secured.”
    The BBC says this has been a distorted campaign, with endorsements for the new constitution flooding state-run and private TV and radio.
    However, spotting any posters from the No campaign is a lot harder and people have been arrested for putting them up.
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