Eyes on Sisi as Egypt announces vote results

2014-01-18 14:11
Egyptian Defence Minister Abdel Fatah el-Sisi at Almaza military Airbase in Cairo. (Khaled Desouki, AFP)

Egyptian Defence Minister Abdel Fatah el-Sisi at Almaza military Airbase in Cairo. (Khaled Desouki, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Egypt
    This book is jam packed with all the fascinating facts and information you need to know about Egypt. Now R149.00
    buy now
Cairo - Officials are to announce on Saturday the results of a constitutional referendum likely to set the stage for a presidential bid by the army chief who toppled Egypt's first freely elected head of state.

Initial tallies suggest this week's two-day referendum passed with an overwhelming majority, in what the military-installed government said was a strong stamp of approval for the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the general who ousted Morsi in July after massive protests, was monitoring the outcome for an indication of support for a possible presidential bid, military officials said.

He is expected to make up his mind after the results are announced at a news conference due to start at 16:00 GMT, with his backers already calling for a rally on 25 January to emphasise their support.

Flagship state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram said Saturday the turnout was more than 40 percent of the country's 53 million registered voters, with the "overwhelming majority" voting yes.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies had boycotted the referendum, which is to be followed by presidential and parliamentary elections.

The new constitution will replace the one adopted under Morsi in a 2012 vote and passed with 33% voter turnout. It has done away with much of the Islamist-inspired wording of Morsi's constitution.

Sisi is wildly popular among the millions who took to the streets against Morsi, but the Islamist's followers revile him for what they say was a "coup" against Egypt's first freely elected and civilian president.

The Brotherhood, harried by a deadly crackdown since Morsi's removal, dismissed the referendum as "farce" and called for further protests.

It has called rallies for January 25, the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim also called for demonstrations on the same day to counter an Islamist "plot to spark chaos," an unusual appeal from the top police official tasked with enforcing a law restricting protests.

More than 1 000 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed and thousands imprisoned in a police crackdown on pro-Morsi protests.

On Friday, three men were killed in Cairo and another in clashes in Fayoum, southwest of the capital, the health ministry said, as police clamped down on the Islamist rallies.

The government hoped a large turnout in the referendum would bolster its democratic credentials and further marginalise the Islamists.

'Sisi for presidency'

Many who took part in the referendum said their vote was also an endorsement of Sisi, seen as a strong man capable of restoring security after three years of turmoil following Mubarak's overthrow.

Morsi's supporters wish to have Sisi tried internationally for crimes against humanity for the deadly crackdown, but the general is adored by his supporters and will face no serious competition if he stands for election.

Reflecting this, the state-run Al-Akhbar newspaper trumpted its support for him on Saturday, declaring in a front-page banner that "All roads lead Sisi to the presidency of the republic".

In the first test of democracy after Morsi's overthrow, the run-up to the referendum was marred by arrests of activists who campaigned against the constitution.

"There was no real opportunity for those opposed to the government's roadmap or the proposed constitution to dissent," said monitoring group Democracy International, which observed the referendum.

The group said its monitors witnessed security forces and campaigning material inside polling stations, but there was "no evidence that such problems substantially affected the outcome of this referendum".

The US administration is closely watching the results of Egypt's referendum, but has not yet decided whether to unfreeze some $1.5bn in aid, the State Department said on Thursday.

The vote has put the Brotherhood, which the government designated last month as a terrorist group, on the back foot.

Morsi himself has been in custody since his ouster and is currently standing trial in the first of three separate cases against him.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  abdel fattah al-sisi  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  north africa  |  egypt crisis
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.