The Egyptian voters have approved their new constitution by a staggering 98.1 percent majority, which the junta government declared a popular endorsement of the army’s overthrow of president Mohamed Mursi.
But the result of the Tuesday-Wednesday vote is less than encouraging for Egypt’s new rulers, coming from fewer than 40 percent of the eligible voters.
According to electoral commission head Nabil Salib, the turnout only “reached 38.6 percent” of the 53 million registered voters, and only 1.9 percent of those voted “no.”
The new charter replaces the Islamist constitution that was adopted in the December 2012 referendum, when Mursi and the Muslim Brothers were still at the helm, and which received about two-thirds of the vote, with a 33 percent turnout.
Maybe Egyptians just don’t like referenda?
The State Dept. issued a press release that I’m sure the Egyptians will just adore. Among other things, the U.S. “urges the interim Egyptian government to fully implement those rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the new constitution for the benefit of the Egyptian people, and to take steps towards reconciliation.”
But who’s patronizing? Wait, there’s a moralistic caution from the Boston Brahmin which I’m sure the generals over in Cairo will print out and put in a special place:
“Democracy is more than any one referendum or election. It is about equal rights and protections under the law for all Egyptians, regardless of their gender, faith, ethnicity, or political affiliation.”
And, naturally: “The United States again urges all sides to condemn and prevent violence and to move towards an inclusive political process based on the rule of law and respect for the fundamental freedoms of all Egyptians.”
Or what, we’ll send a drone over?
I think it’s time the United States, especially under the current Administration, will do the planet a favor and Shut Up.
Here are the final figures, according to Al Ahram:
Total registered voters: 53,423,485
Turnout: 20,613,677 (38.6 percent)
Invalid votes: 246,947
Yes: 19,985,389 (98.1 percent)
No: 381,341 (1.9 percent)