Mass Egypt vote turnout marred by ElBaradei attack , Most Christians vote No fearing Islamists

Discussion in 'Global Affairs' started by umais, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. umais

    umais insaan-forgetful

    By Steve Kir, AFP
    CAIRO (AFP) - Egyptians voted in huge numbers on Saturday in their first taste of democracy after Hosni Mubarak's ouster, although a referendum was marred by an assault on Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei.

    Turnout figures were not expected before Sunday but officials said the numbers at polling stations were unprecedented for Egypt, where participation was minuscule in the Mubarak era as voters assumed their ballots would make no difference.

    Just five weeks after the strongman quit, the estimated 45 million voters were asked to say "yes" or "no" to a package of constitutional changes intended to guide the Arab world's most populous nation through fresh presidential and parliamentary elections within six months.

    AFP correspondents reported huge queues outside polling stations throughout the day from the Nile Delta to the Sinai peninsula, and from the Suez Canal to the capital.

    Eager voters seized their first taste of democracy following president Mubarak's overthrow by nationwide street protests which ended decades of authoritarian rule.

    "Today we feel our vote can make a difference," said pharmacy student Maraam Mohammed as she queued to vote in Cairo's twin city of Giza, site of the world-famous Pyramids.

    One government official told AFP: "It's very difficult to get numbers but everyone agrees it's unprecedented, it's huge, it's never been seen before."

    Arab League chief Amr Mussa, an Egyptian who is a leading contender for president in eventual elections, hailed the high participation as he cast his vote in upscale Garden City.

    "Whether the Egyptian people say yes or no, that's alright," said Mussa, a staunch opponent of the transitional military government's plans to make only limited changes to the Mubarak-era constitution before holding new elections.

    "What is important is that people are coming. We need a new Egypt."

    The excitement of voters at casting their ballot, many of them for the first time in their lives, was overshadowed by an attack on former UN nuclear watchdog chief ElBaradei, who is a rival secular contender for the presidency, as he tried to cast his vote in south Cairo.

    Despite being hit in the back by a stone thrown from a crowd of hundreds of Islamists, he escaped unharmed from the attack, his brother Ali said.

    ElBaradei has been an outspoken critic of the tight timetable for the restoration of civilian rule set by the transitional military government, arguing that it gives far too little time for new political parties to organise at grass roots level.

    An appointed panel of experts drew up the proposed amendments in just 10 days, as the military council that took over from Mubarak strives to hand over power as quickly as possible and keep the army above the political fray.

    But the hasty, improvised nature of the proposed constitutional underpinnings of Egypt's promised new democracy drove many of the leading groups and figures behind the victorious protest movement to urge a "no" vote.

    The amendments are by and large uncontroversial but critics argue that they do not go far enough in overhauling the Mubarak-era charter, which they say needs to be completely rewritten.

    The president would serve a maximum of two four-year terms and the state of emergency that has governed Egyptian life for decades could only be imposed for six months without endorsement in a popular referendum.

    The main advocates of a "yes" vote have been the Muslim Brotherhood -- powerful and well-organised despite being outlawed under Mubarak -- and elements of his former ruling National Democratic Party.

    "This is a joyful day," Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie said as he cast his vote in Manial, a middle-class Cairo neighbourhood, vowing to accept the verdict whatever it was.

    "This time nobody can say in advance that the outcome of the vote will be this percentage or that."

    But his movement came in for criticism from an Egyptian poll watchdog for bussing in "yes" voters and putting up campaign publicity around polling stations.

    Outside a Cairo polling station, human rights lawyer Ragia Omran, who was monitoring the elections, was detained by the army and taken to the Cairo security directorate, The Front for Defense of Egypt Protesters said in a statement.

    The count got under way straight after the close of polls. Assessments of the likely outcome have been as divided as views about the proposed changes.

    Some analysts predict a majority "yes" vote, at least outside the big cities, given the strong rural support of the Brotherhood and the perceived backing of the army, popular after it sided with protesters against Mubarak.

    Others are more sceptical, pointing to the widespread economic discontent in the provinces that has sparked a wave of strikes and walkouts.

    Mass Egypt vote turnout marred by ElBaradei attack, Egypt Politics - Maktoob News
  2. umais

    umais insaan-forgetful

    By Reuters
    CAIRO - Many Egyptian Christians say they voted on Saturday to reject proposed constitutional amendments in a referendum because they fear hasty elections to follow may open the door for Islamist groups to rise to power.

    If the amendments are approved, parliamentary elections will take place in late September followed by presidential elections in December, giving scant time for new parties to organise, including ones representing the aspirations of Christians.

    Foremost among these aspirations is the creation of a civil state where religion is not a basis for legislation.

    It is widely assumed that quick elections would give an advantage to the well-established Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded in the 1920s which has emerged as the best organised political force since Hosni Mubarak was toppled from power.

    "I fear the Islamists because they speak in civil slogans that have a religious context, like when one said he believed in a civil Egypt but at the same time no woman or Copt should run for president," said Samuel Wahba, a Coptic doctor.

    The Islamist group has always sought to reassure Copts, who make up about 10 percent of 80 million citizens, saying they have the same rights as other Egyptians. But they have also historically opposed the idea of a Copt assuming the presidency.

    Coptic Christians also want the new constitution to do away with Article 2, which says Islam is the religion of the state and Islamic jurisprudence the main source of legislation -- a point of tension with Islamists.

    "I voted 'no', because I don't want to return to the old constitution or a patchwork of the old constitution and a tyrannical president after such a great revolution," Wahba said.

    Some church leaders have advised their congregations to reject the amendments as a patriotic effort to support pro-democracy Egyptians who seek a civil state.

    "I see we should say 'no', because such amendments are not valid to build a modern civil state. That isn't our opinion alone but also that of any moderate Egyptian who wants a civil state," said Father Metyas, a priest in a Coptic Orthodox Church.

    "Anyone is free in one's opinion, but our role as those responsible for enlightenment is to tell people that these amendments serve the Brotherhood's ideology," he said.

    Egyptians took pride in the Christian-Muslim solidarity displayed during the revolution that toppled Mubarak on Feb. 11 and hoped the uprising had buried tensions that have flared up with increasing regularity in recent years.

    But these feelings were dampened in March after an interfaith romance sparked the torching of a church by Islamists, which led to sectarian clashes leaving 13 people killed.

    Copts staged an unprecedented sit-in for nine days in front of the state's television building demanding the destroyed church be rebuilt. Some Muslims also joined in.

    "I voted 'no' because, as an Egyptian, I want a new complete's not based on the 'yes' of Islamist groups," said Ramy Kamel, a Coptic lawyer.

    Many Egypt Christians vote 'no', fearing Islamists, Egypt Politics - Maktoob News
  3. Abu Kamel

    Abu Kamel <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    "Islamists" torched the church?

    How did Islam sanction torching a church?
    No source from Reuters, just pure propaganda.
  4. drkjke

    drkjke Well-Known Member

    Many Egyptian Christians say they voted on Saturday to reject proposed constitutional amendments in a referendum because they fear hasty elections to follow may open the door for Islamist groups to rise to power

    its last chance for muslims to repent...if they keep on their ways and keep hating islamic system than most of them will be wiped off the world soon
    last egyptian brothers listen...time is very short now.and chance is last...decide wisely
    allah did not create and send people on earth to invent there own system of nifaaq and fisq ...allah made jinns and humans so they worship Him....
  5. steedy

    steedy <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    Muslims need to be alert and address wrongs a soon as they appear..... see what democracy brings

    New Puppets In Egypt Implement A New Law Which Criminalizes Protests

    The Egyptian Cabinet on Wednesday ordered a law criminalizing protests and strikes. Under the new law, anyone organizing or calling for a protest will be sentenced to jail and/or a fine of LE500,000. The new law will be enforced as long as the current Emergency Law is in place, said the cabinet in a statement on Wednesday. The Emergency Law has been in force since 1981 following the assassination of former President Anwar Sadat. The new law will apply to anyone inciting, urging, promoting or participating in a protest or strike that hampers or delays work at any private or public establishments. Since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak on 11 February, Egypt has witnessed nationwide labor strikes and political protests. Among those protesting have been university students, political activists, railway workers, doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, journalists, pensioners, and the police force.
  6. learn arabic

    learn arabic <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    the people wanted democracy. let them reap the reward of their decision. this is Allahs punishment on them.

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