Basic facts on Egypt's constitution referendum

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2012 1:28 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptians vote Saturday in a highly contentious referendum on a new constitution to replace the one suspended after the 2011 revolution. Here are some basic facts and figures on the vote.

— There are two rounds of voting — the first on Saturday and the second on Dec. 22. Polls open at 8:00 am and close at 7:00 pm local time.

— The ballot paper has two options: "agree" or "don't agree."

— More than 26 million people in 10 of Egypt's 27 provinces are eligible to vote. Saturday's voting includes Egypt's most populated cities, Cairo and Alexandria, which together account for nearly nine million voters. Also voting will be Nile Delta provinces in which both Islamists — who have urged the passage of the referendum — and former backers of Mubarak's toppled regime — likely to oppose it, along with liberals, secularists, Christians, and others — have support networks.

— More than 25 million Egyptians in the remaining 17 other provinces, including Cairo's twin city of Giza and provinces in both the Delta and the south, will vote in the second round.

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— Authorities say 7,000 judges are to oversee 6,000 polling stations in the first round. Ballot counting takes place inside the stations just after the closure of polls.

— The main international group that monitored previous Egyptian votes, the Carter Center, will not deploy observers this time around. Local monitoring groups have protested new regulations that require they receive permits from the state-run National Council for Human Rights, instead of obtaining permits directly from the Election Committee as they have in the past.