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What A ‘Yes’ Vote On Egypt’s Constitution Means

Amid violent clashes and a heavy security presence, Egyptians are voting on a national referendum for a new constitution.
Posted at 11:14 AM, Jan 14, 2014

​For the sixth time in just a few years, Egyptians head to the polls Tuesday.

They’re voting on a new constitution that, if passed, would help pave the way for fresh elections, but it would also expand the power of the military. (Via Euronews)

Of course, it’s the military that now runs Egypt, ever since the ousting of former President Mohammed Morsi this summer. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Jonathan Rashad

The vote, analysts say, will serve as a test of legitimacy for the temporary, military-backed government, whose top general is eyeing a presidential run. (Via Al-Monitor

If approved, this constitution will entirely replace the one Morsi signed into law just more than a year ago. (Via RT

Liberal and secular groups criticized that document for not enacting the freedoms they fought for in the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. (Via Al Arabiya

So, this version is stripped of most of the Islamist language, and includes gender equality and human rights provisions. 

As Ahram Online notes, in practice, the new constitution will provide the framework for a state that’s ”not theocratic, but not secular either.”   

The biggest opposition is the Muslim Brotherhood, which has called for a boycott of the vote. Its members insist Morsi remains the country’s legitimate president. (Via Channel 4)

Still, analysts expect the referendum to easily get the simple majority it needs to pass. Of course, whether the new constitution would bring the stability the government has promised remains to be seen.

Because for a state that’s trying to transition into a free society, you’d hardly know it. (Via ITN

The interim-government has cracked down on members of the Brotherhood — jailing almost its entire leadership, criminalizing membership and branding it a terrorist organization. (Via Slate, The New York Times)

Human Rights Watch said Monday at least seven activists had been arrested for hanging campaign flyers calling for “no” votes on the constitution.