Egypt Approves New Constitution

Egyptian voters today approved a constitution drafted by President Mohamed Morsi’s allies.

Reports say the results announced on Tuesday by the elections commission where it unveiled results that the constitution was adopted with 63.8 percent of the vote, giving Islamists their victory.

President Morsi has signed into law a new Islamist-drafted constitution he believes will help end the country’s ongoing political instability.

Oppositions particularly Morsi’s Leftist, liberal, secularist and Christian have launched a massive street protests upon hearing the disclosure of the results.

SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Mohamed Morsi, President of Egypt, at the President’s Office in Cairo. UN Photo

In a press statement, Acting Deputy Patrick Ventrell says this past weekend, the draft Egyptian constitution passed a public referendum.

“We have stood with Egyptians as they have engaged in the difficult work of democratic transition.” – Mr. Ventrell

He says the uS government has consistently supported the principle that democracy requires much more than simple majority rule.

It requires protecting the rights and building the institutions that make democracy meaningful and durable, Mr. Ventrell added.

He underlines that the future of Egypt’s democracy depends on forging a broader consensus behind its new democratic rules and institutions.

Many Egyptians have voiced deep concerns about the substance of the constitution and the constitutional process, he said.

He cites that President Morsi, as the democratically elected leader of Egypt, has a special responsibility to move forward in a way that recognizes the urgent need to bridge divisions, build trust, and broaden support for the political process.

“We have called for genuine consultation and compromise across Egypt’s political divides.” – Mr. Ventrell

Mr. Ventrell adds that those Egyptians disappointed by the result will seek more and deeper engagement.

“We look to those who welcome the result to engage in good faith.” – Mr. Ventrell

The US hopes all sides will re-commit themselves to condemn and prevent violence.

He points out that only Egyptians can decide their country’s future.

He emphasizes that the United States remains committed to helping them realize the aspirations that drove their revolution and complete a successful democratic transition.

Egypt needs a strong, inclusive government to meet its many challenges, he stressed.

“Its future depends not on the ability of one side to prevail over the other, but on the commitment of all to engage in an inclusive process to negotiate their differences – on the constitution and on the laws implementing it – and to find a more united path forward.” – Mr. Ventrell

Last month, the issuance of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s decree excempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new constitution is drafted has caused uproar in Cairo and raised concerns for the international community.

Reports say thousands are protesting in Egypt and many of his opponents were furious. Many also reportedly named him the new Hosni Mubarak.

The decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community.

The US has called for calm and encourage all parties to work together.

In June this year, Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, was declared the new president of Egypt.

Egypt’s Higher Presidential Elections Commission announced the results of the 16-17 June run-off poll earlier Sunday. The run-off reportedly declared Mohamed Morsi garnered a majority of the votes against ex-prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

Mr. Morsi defeated Mr. Shafiq by more than almost 900,000 votes, with 51.7 per cent of the vote, compared to 48 per cent for Mr. Shafiq.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the conclusion of Egypt’s presidential election process following the release of official results

Mr. Ban commended the Egyptian people for the peaceful atmosphere in which these elections were held.

Mr. Ban congratulated Dr. Mohamed Morsi on his election and said he trusted the President-elect to spare no effort in ensuring the people of Egypt realize their aspirations for greater democracy, the promotion of human rights, and a more prosperous and stable Egypt for all of its citizens.

The elections were the first presidential election since the toppling of the long-standing regime of Hosni Mubarak amid popular protests in January 2011, and widely seen as a key element of the country’s transition to greater democracy.

In May this year, with the hope of regaining the country’s stability after the revolution, Egyptians headed to the polls to cast their ballots in the country’s first free vote for a leader in 5,000 years of history.

Around 50 million eligible Egyptian voters were called to choose 13 candidates.

Earlier this year, President Obama proposed a $1 billion cancellation of Egyptian debt to support Egypt’s economic recovery.

Egypt has made progress on human rights since the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Long-standing regimes were toppled by a wave of pro-democracy protests that have engulfed much of North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, particularly in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.