Islamists Claim Victory on Egypt Constitution Vote
Islamists appear to have won a narrow victory in the first round of voting on Egypt's constitution, though Egyptian rights groups are charging that there were widespread violations, CBN News reports. The opposition umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, condemned irregularities and violations and called for a massive rally against the constitution on Tuesday, Dec. 18. According to rights groups, violations included the presence of Muslim Brotherhood members at the polls, women being prevented from voting because they were not wearing Islamic veils, individuals falsely identifying themselves as judges, and Christians being denied entry to polling stations. Additionally, as polls closed, hundreds of Islamists attacked the offices of one of Egypt's oldest liberal parties. The controversial draft constitution would empower Islamists to enforce the most widespread and strictest implementation of sharia (Islamic law) that modern Egypt has ever seen. One voter, Mohamed Ewais, said: "I cannot accept a constitution with very limited, very limited actually, rights for minorities, rights for women, rights for even children. It's not suitable for Egypt, actually. We are talking about a country that has been in place for over 210 years as a modern state." Israelis are also watching the Egyptian vote with concern, as an Islamist victory could threaten the 33-year peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.