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Egypt referendum results due, opposition readies for parliamentary vote

25 December 2012

Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed El Baradei has admitted that the political fight over the draft constitution has been too fragmented. Official results from the referendum on the controversial charter are due today – an unofficial tally suggested 64 percent of Egyptians had voted ‘yes’ to the draft. “Well, it is going to pass, but it’s a really sad day in my view for Egypt, because it is going to institutionalise instability,” El Baradei told America’s PBS TV. “It’s a very polarising charter. It defies a lot of the basic human value we live by, like freedom of religion, freedom of expression, independence of the judiciary.” El Baradei, who is leader of the National Salvation Front, said that while the Muslim Brotherhood has dominated Egyptian life for the past 80 years, the country’s many opposition groups have only come together in recent weeks. He hopes they can build on their support in time for the parliamentary elections which must now be held in about two months. “The opposition is six months old. Liberal parties have been established in the past few months and have been fractured. Right now, I think only in the last month we have been getting together, establishing a united front,” said El Baradei. The build up to the referendum saw public anger turn violent over claims the draft constitution had been crafted by President Mohamed Mursi’s Islamist allies. El Baradei thinks despite the ‘yes’ vote, further unrest is inevitable.