Egypt government holds vote on new constitution amid deadly violence

Egyptians queued for the second day in front of polling booths to decide on the country\’s new referendum, undeterred by clashes the day before.
About 53 million Egyptians are eligible to vote for the new constitution, the result of which could see the Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi launch a presidential bid.
The vote is part of a political transition plan announced after the military ousted former president Mohamed Morsi in July. If approved, the constitutional referendum would be followed by elections for a new president and parliament.
Hundreds of thousands of police and soldiers are deployed across the country to boost security, but clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi have left at least eight people dead.
The pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood urged Egyptians to boycott the referendum, calling it illegitimate.
The new constitution would replace the pro-Islamic charter adopted in 2012 under Morsi, stripping away Islamist language, giving women greater rights and strengthening the power of the military.
Egypt\’s military toppled Morsi after opposition protesters accused him of trying to monopolize power. Authorities have cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood, declaring it a terrorist group and arresting many of its leaders. More than 1,000 people, mainly pro-Morsi Islamists, have been killed, while protests continue.
Source: VOA and agencies
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